Hawk Herald

The Student News Site of Forest Hills Eastern High School

Hawk Herald

Hawk Herald

Government Shutdown Averted… For Now

Cover Photo via Flickr

Democrats surprised everyone on Tuesday, by voting in favor of another stopgap bill to prevent a government shutdown. This comes as the narrowed majority Republicans elected a brand new speaker, after ejecting former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy was ousted in a vote of 208 Democrats joined with 8 Republicans. This followed Republican Representative Matt Gaetz claim of McCarthy making “secret deals” with Democrats and believing McCarthy’s legislative agenda was too moderate. 

The House passed a measure similar to the one Representative Matt Gaetz and other Republicans demolished former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for backing. But, unlike McCarthy, House Speaker Mike Johnson isn’t facing similar public threats from the far-right group in the Republican party.

Photo of House Speaker Mike Johnson via Flickr (Gage Skidmore)

House Speaker Mike Johnson was elected to the Speaker position amid the budget debates. A shutdown, which would have sent the country into economic despair, seemed imminent. A government shutdown happens when Congress fails to pass 12 budgets, funding government activities. All “non-essential” federal workers would be temporarily let go, and “non-essential” agencies would be required to cease their functions until Congress acts. 

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The most recent government shutdown lasted 35 days, from December 22nd, 2018, until January 25th, 2019. The shutdown occurred when the 115th Congress and former President Trump could not agree on an appropriations bill to fund the government for the 2019 fiscal year. A fiscal year is a 12-month accounting period that a business uses for financial and tax reporting purposes. The shutdown was severe, as it affected close to 800,000 federal employees, increased unemployment rates by 3-4%, and temporarily closed key food services for citizens requesting extra financial assistance. Roughly 380,000 Government employees were furloughed during the 2018 shutdown.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

This time, it is expected that nearly 2 million civilian federal workers and an additional 2 million military workers would face delays in getting their paychecks. Essential workers, such as Air traffic controllers, law enforcement officers, and postal workers, would be expected to work, but without pay. 

A major cause of the chaos in the capitol has to do with the political makeup of our government. As it stands, Republicans have control of the House with 221 members, and Democrats have the minority in the House with 213 members. The Senate, on the other hand, contains 49 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and 3 independents who identify with the Democrats, meaning the Democrats hold control of the Senate by 1 vote. This has proven to be a key problem during this legislative session, as many bills passed by the Republican led house get put on a shelf, never seeing the Senate floor.

The Senate passed the current stopgap bill, which pushes the deadline to fund the government to February 2nd, 2024. The bill did not include any new aid to Ukraine, which paints the image of Speaker Johnson’s view on the issue of foreign spending. The Senate voted 87 to 11 in favor of the bill. President Biden signed the bill late Thursday night, officially pushing the deadline back to early next year.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Hawk Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of Forest Hills Eastern High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Kasen Wooters
Kasen Wooters, Staff Writer
Kasen Wooters is a sophomore at FHE, and a First-year Hawk Herald writer. Outside of school hours, Kasen enjoys working in the auditorium, running audio, lights, and microphones for the many events that come through Eastern. In his free time, Kasen likes to work with local politicians and provide opportunities to high school students across the area. Kasen loves to listen to music and loves collecting vinyl records.
Donate to Hawk Herald

Comments (0)

All Hawk Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *