(WASHINGTON) – The United States hurtled toward federal paralysis Friday, plunging the country into logistical chaos and a political battle, with President Biden and Republicans shifting blame at each other.
Unless a last-minute agreement is reached, which is now almost impossible, the world’s largest economy is expected to operate slowly from Sunday: 1.5 million government employees will be deprived of their salaries, air traffic will be disrupted, while theme park visitors will find… National closed their doors.
“There’s still a chance” the United States could get away with it, but White House Budget Office Director Shalanda Young wanted to believe it Friday.
“I remain optimistic, because we have a day and a half” for Democratic and Republican elected representatives in Congress to reach an agreement, she said during the daily press conference at the White House.
But neither chamber of Congress — neither the Democratic-controlled Senate nor the Republican-controlled House — was able to pass a budget bill to extend the federal state budget, which expires at midnight on September 30.
Aid to Ukraine is a source of tensions
Almost a year before the presidential elections, both camps blame the other for this situation, which is very unpopular among Americans.
For Democratic President Joe Biden, there is no doubt: The ball is in the House Republicans’ court.
In fact, the crux of the blockage lies in this room: aid to Ukraine, which a handful of pro-Trump Republican elected officials flatly refuse to tie to any financial law.
These acolytes of Donald Trump, who wield disproportionate power because of the razor-thin Republican majority in the House of Representatives, had already pushed the United States to the brink of fiscal political abyss four months ago on the issue of debt ceiling recovery. .
The former president, who may face Joe Biden in 2024, ordered them to “cripple” the federal state, unless they won their case on “all” budget issues under discussion.
“Lockdown” from 2018
Under Donald Trump’s presidency, the United States actually went through its longest “lockdown” in the winter of 2018. According to numerous estimates, the United States’ GDP fell by more than $3 billion.
With less than 40 hours to go until the deadline, the country is preparing for this new shutdown of services. Officials were notified Thursday of the impending paralysis.
They will actually have to wait until the end of the “lockdown” to receive their salaries. However, some of them, who are considered “essential workers”, will be requested while others will be denied access to their files and emails. The army will not be paid either.
Most of America’s famous national parks such as Yosemite and Yellowstone will be closed. Air traffic is also expected to be severely disrupted.
Some beneficiaries may be temporarily denied food assistance.
In addition to aid to Ukraine, a State Department spokesperson also noted the risks to funds earmarked for “global humanitarian needs,” to help with the migration crisis, or to fight “malign actors, particularly in Africa,” warning that this puts “at risk.” National security of the United States and [fait céder] The land belongs to China and Russia.”
An employee, who requested to remain anonymous because she was not authorized to communicate, told AFP that she is worried about the coming weeks and will have to rely on her husband’s salary to cover current expenses.
“I will watch the news, that’s for sure,” she says. “But I will try to focus on my children and spend time with them.”
“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”