What do you think of government shutdowns

USA is heading for a government shutdown

Shortly before Christmas, the US is heading for a possible “shutdown” - a partial standstill of government business. It is very likely that it will come to that, said US President Donald Trump on Friday in Washington.

He blamed the Democrats for this and agreed to prolonged turbulence: "We are absolutely prepared for a very long shutdown." The budget for several federal ministries must be approved by midnight local time - Saturday morning 6 a.m. German time. Otherwise parts of the US government would run out of money. Employees would then be sent on compulsory leave and some offices and authorities would be closed.

Trump is demanding that the regular budget for several ministries also provide money for the wall on the border with Mexico, which he has long called for. Otherwise he will not sign such a budget law - and it will not work without the signature of the president. If there is no agreement by the deadline, the “Shutdown” mode will automatically come into effect.

The defense, education, health and labor ministries would not be affected because a longer-term budget for these departments had already been approved in September. In the event of a “shutdown”, important areas that are responsible for security in the country, for example police or border guards, are maintained.

According to reports by the broadcaster CNN, several hundred thousand government employees would be affected, who would initially receive no salary or who would be forced to take leave. It was initially unclear how great the impact would be for the population, for example through the closure of national parks, offices, museums or other public institutions.

In the past, there have been recurring stoppages in the USA: at the end of January, for example, there was a budget freeze of a few days, at the beginning of February the “shutdown” mode lasted only a few hours. The longest budget freeze lasted 21 days at the turn of the year 1995/1996.

Trump threatened that if Congress did not provide the funds to build a border wall, there would be a stalemate "that will last for a very long time." He blamed the Democrats for the situation because they refused to comply with his demand.

One and a half weeks ago, however, at a meeting with the parliamentary leaders of the Democrats in the Senate and the House of Representatives, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, in a verbal battle in front of the camera, Trump said that if there was a "shutdown", he would take it on his hat . "I will not hold you responsible," he said to the top Democrats. No, he is even "proud to close the government for border security".

The Democrats, however, hold against Trump, if it comes to a "shutdown", it is his sole responsibility. There is no majority in the US Senate to finance the border wall, said Schumer on Friday and called on Trump to abandon his "shutdown" strategy, which is nothing but a tantrum. "President Trump, you will not get the wall," he said.

The House of Representatives, which is still dominated by Trump's Republicans, decided on Thursday after much back and forth on a bill in which 5.7 billion dollars are earmarked for such a wall. The Senate should vote on it on Friday. A sufficient majority for the proposal was not in sight: the Republicans, who have a majority of 52 seats in the chamber, would need additional votes from the ranks of the Democrats to get a majority of 60 necessary votes.

Another problem is that some politicians are already on Christmas vacation. Trump himself actually wanted to leave for Florida on Friday. If it comes to a "shutdown", it will not fly, it said from the White House.

Trump had already promised his supporters a wall on the border with Mexico during the presidential election campaign, actually at the expense of the Mexicans. For him now is perhaps the last chance to realize his central election campaign promise - hence his tough course. Because from January onwards, the House of Representatives will be dominated by the Democrats. A majority in favor of financing a wall does not seem realistic.

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