WHAT: Government shutdown
WHY: Here we go again. With only a few days to go before a possible government shutdown, lawmakers boxed themselves into a new budget impasse. A tit-for-tat over disaster aid left Republicans and Democrats in a face-off that’s all too familiar to millions of Americans.
HOW: Deep partisan disputes pushed the government to the edge of a partial shutdown in April, and to the brink of a debt-ceiling crisis in late July. On Friday, the Democratic-controlled Senate blocked a Republican House bill that would provide stopgap federal spending, plus aid for people battered by natural disasters. The legislation also calls for $1.6 billion in spending cuts.
WHY IT’S AN OUTRAGE: Democrats say it’s wrong to require spending cuts to accompany badly needed emergency aid. Republicans say the national debt has made business-as-usual spending no longer acceptable. With Congress’ approval ratings at an all-time low, lawmakers should be making sure government works for the people, who have had enough of partisan bickering.