🌎 📸The Government is Still Open
The Government is Still Open
Cutting it close once again, both houses of Congress and the President approved a stopgap funding bill which will prevent a government shutdown for at least another two months. If not passed, the government would have shut down on October 1st— just two days after it passed through the Senate. The bill contained funding for federal agencies so they could continue their operations for at least another two and a half months, as well as aid for communities hit by natural disasters and a portion to tackle the clean water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi.
The bill notably did not include two items that the White House had requested: funding for vaccines and treatment of both COVID and monkeypox. Republicans in both houses were largely in opposition to the bill, with only 10 crossing party lines in the House to vote with Democrats. It is likely that those who voted in favor of the stopgap bill will include its passage in their reelection campaign ads ahead of the midterm, as the average voter wants the government to stay open.
Liberal Policial Commentary
Keeping the government open should be bipartisan, but nothing is anymore if the “big bad other party” is the one who proposed it. Two days before a gridlock cripples federal agencies’ ability to conduct their necessary activities is not the time to gain clout with the party’s leaders just because a midterm is approaching. The last government shutdown in 2018 left many Americans apprehensive of the government’s true motivations— and whether it can simply do what it's designed to do. The priority should have been preventing a situation like that from happening again, but it was not. Everyone who voted against the stopgap bill should have their vote targeted in campaign ads from competitors.
Conservative Political Commentary
The Stopgap bill was passed on Friday this week to continue funding the government. The passage of this bill allows for the government to run until December 16th at which point a new bill will need to be passed. The bill includes $12.3 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine. It also contains $2.5 billion to address the damage done by wildfires in New Mexico which were the most damaging in the states history. $2 billion will be spent on a community block grants to give relieve to those suffering from national disasters. Also, $20 million will go to address the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi. These spending measures are in addition to funding to maintain the status quo and keep the government running.
The Stopgap bill was slightly bipartisan with only 10 republicans voting in favor of it. According to Republican representative Tom Cole “It’s deeply unfortunate that we have once again waited to the last minute to fund the government.”(Cochrane). Most Republicans voted against the measure with the final voting tally being 230-201. This is because of the lack of bipartisan negotiations when constructing the bill. Republican Tom Cole stated “We know we have a crisis on the southern border. You can turn on the television every night. You can look at the fentanyl pouring into the country, You can see the tragedy of human trafficking. Is there anything in this bill that asks us to do anything different, anything new? No, you just ask, ‘please allow us to continue the current state of affairs on the southern border.' That is a travesty."(Newsmax).This lack of bipartisan construction merely “kick[ed] the can to December, setting up another government funding showdown during the unaccountable lame duck period,” according to representative Steve Scalise. It is unclear whether or not republicans issues will be highly featured in the next government spending bill but most likely that is highly contingent on the outcome of the midterm elections.
Liberal Journalist Opinion
How do we get to the point, as an advanced democracy, that we are two days away from our government shutting down? One may point to a systemic flaw, perhaps what encourages polarization to such an extreme level that almost every member of the Republican Party voted against a bill giving relief to communities who desperately need it just to say they stuck with their party. It was especially timely to provide funding for those affected by natural disasters as Hurricane Ian is devastating the coast, and long overdue to do so — will have a harmful impact on people's lives, it isn't the time to "ply hardball," it's pathetic to do so.
Written by Ashlyn Hill
Conservative Journalist Opinion
The stopgap bill has put off another government shutdown. Yet it was not a bipartisan constructed bill and bodes ill for the future. The fact that only ten republicans voted for it shows that the time of bipartisan compromise is still a distant dream. The only republicans to vote for it did so for specific purposes. Republican Hal Rogers stated he voted for the bill because “This bill is far from perfect, but it’s a good addition for disaster relief as we work together to meet the needs that are still prevalent in Eastern Kentucky’s hardest hit communities. Nonetheless, this bill gives us more time to work toward a resolution and provides important supplemental funding in support of Ukraine, and critical emergency funding for disaster relief.”(Schnell).
Republicans are willing to vote for measures that help the country, but they need to be brought to the table for negotiations. None of the Republican concerns over the border or inflation were addressed in the stopgap bill; however, these two concerns are major issues for the GOP. It seems that when the democrats are able to pass a measure without Republican support, they choose that path rather than working on building a bipartisan bridge between the two sides. This proves that the results of the mid-term elections will be extremely important since it is predicted that Republicans will gain more seats in Congress due to the general unhappiness of American voters with the current regime. If Republicans gain more seats democrats will likely be forced to work with them on bipartisan measures and we can hope for a more functional and representative congress in the future.
Written by Alexis Walker
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