A government shutdown is looming closer to reality. Saturday night is the deadline for either extending the government for another 30 days or so or shutting down. Right now it appears that the half dozen most extreme MAGA Republicans are unwilling to bend on any compromise. House Majority leader McCarthy can't seem to get anything passed. If they are able to do so, their bills would have to go to the U.S. Senate who would probably make changes and send it back to the House to be voted on again. The chances that can be done with agreement by all by Saturday is highly unlikely. McCarthy could reach out to House Democrats to help him pass legislation but he will have to make promises he is likely to be unwilling to do.
If Republicans in the House of Representatives don't agree to extend the government debt limit there will be a number of events that will occur. These issues will impact people in Huerfano County.
Here is a list of what happens if the shutdown is NOT avoided:
1. Essential federal employees will work without pay. (They will get back pay when an agreement is finally reached).
2. Non-essential workers (They don't receive any money since they are basically layed off).
3. Monthly checks due to millions of veterans will be put on hold.
4. National Parks, Monuments, and Museums will be closed.
5. EPA and FDA will delay or hold off on inspections that we expect for safety reasons.
6. States could be forced to foot the bill for TANF (better known as welfare payments).
7. SNAP benefits (better known as food stamps) could be delayed for those dependent on feeding themselves and their families.
Most often the debt limit bill is passed routinely by the House & Senate but this year MAGA Republicans are insisting on tying up the agreement unless they get votes to impeach Joe Biden and a number of other things being tied to the bill. It's possible that a vote could be taken to extend the deadline for a month or two but then the whole issue has to be considered again for a shutdown to be avoided.
MAGA Republicans want House budget cuts before passing any legislation to keep the government open. They want to cut Medicaid by 1.9 trillion dollars. Cut the SNAP program by 800 billion dollars and want a Debt Committee set up to study how they can make cuts to Social Security and Medicare. None of these will pass in the Democratically controlled Senate. While many government employees will be required to work without pay and be reimbursed after an agreement is finally reached, many other government employees will be furloughed and will not be paid. They will lose income. But while Congress can't get its act together, guess who keeps getting paid? You guessed it, the House and Senate members. Republicans control the House so Democrats don't have enough votes to get us out of this fiasco.
In other notes, if you want some FREE Covid tests, go to covidtests.gov to order.
Something I have to announce on occasion, if anyone is interested in running for Huerfano County Commissioner, the deadline to sign up is at the end of this year. Arica Andreatta is up for reelection in the LaVeta district and Travis Nelson is running in an open seat in the Gardner district. The County Clerk's Office can provide more information if you choose to run in either of those districts.
Don't forget, our monthly meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 5th at the Walsenburg Housing Authority or via zoom. I will be sending out the agenda and zoom link early next week.
Our CD3 "darling" congresswoman, Lauren Bobert continues to make negative news. The latest polling shows Adam Frisch, one of three Dem candidates hoping to unseat her in 2024 has a two point lead and has raised three times the amount of money than her in the last quarter. I have not heard from the other two Dem candidates running against Frisch for the Dems nomination. When I do, I will pass information along to you.