Government Narrowly Avoids Shutdown
The government was this close to shutting down last night but managed to reach an eleventh-hour (literally) compromise before the midnight deadline. House Speaker John "Smarmy" Boehner presented the laundry list of spending cuts and revisions and got Congress' positive response just before 11 p.m. What does this mean? It means that our government is still functioning -- for now -- and it means $38.5 billion in spending cuts.
Not so fast, though: the deal isn't quite final. What's really happening is that the House has agreed on an extension until April 15 to work out all the details. So we all have to stay tuned. This could conceivably turn sour in the next five days.
As we've discussed before, a government shutdown would have had some serious consequences for the country. We've avoided it for now, but what kind of changes and cuts (some of which Obama described as "painful" for Democrats, who agreed to about two thirds of the cuts Republicans wanted) can we expect in light of the new deal? And what should we be relieved is not happening?
- Government is still functional, or "functional."
- "Numerous studies" of the health care bill have been ordered. Uh oh.
- Federal funding for Planned Parenthood is safe. According to Politico, Obama and Biden went hard in the paint in terms of protecting that one.
- Repubs tried to get federal funding currently devoted to family planning and women's health converted to block grants for states (see a pattern here?). Didn't happen.
- Environmental Protection Agency funding = safe.
- According to Obama, some needed infrastructural projects will be delayed, and certain programs will be scaled down.
So the country is still kind of working. Key words being "kind of."
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