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America Averts Shutdown Threat with Passage of 45-Day Funding Bill

The US Congress successfully passes legislation to prevent a government shutdown, securing federal funding for 45 days.

New Delhi | October 01,2023 : In a crucial move, the United States has averted the looming threat of a government shutdown. The specter of a shutdown was set to become a grim reality from October 1, but a significant bill has been passed to stave off this crisis. Both the House of Representatives, the lower house of the US Parliament, and the Senate, the upper house, have given their approval to a funding bill that ensures the federal government’s financial stability for the next 45 days. This critical piece of legislation passed with a resounding vote of 335-91 in the House of Representatives.

With the Senate’s anticipated approval, the shutdown threat will be fully extinguished by mid-November, specifically on the 17th. The approved funds encompass $16 billion allocated for disaster relief. Notably, however, this funding package does not include provisions for aid to Ukraine.

The World’s Largest Economy in Peril

The United States, as the world’s largest economy, has teetered on the edge of a potentially disastrous shutdown. Had the government funding bill not been enacted by the end of September 30, the nation would have been thrust into a state of paralysis. Many essential government services would have been suspended, endangering the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of government employees. Such a scenario could have precipitated a substantial financial crisis. Given America’s interconnectedness with the global economy, the ripple effects of such a shutdown would not have been limited to the nation alone but felt worldwide.

Understanding the Shutdown

In each fiscal year of the US federal government, Congress allocates funding to 438 government agencies. The current fiscal year’s deadline fell on September 30. Failing to pass these funding bills at the start of the fiscal year results in government agencies running out of the necessary operating funds, forcing them to shut down. A contentious dispute between lawmakers and right-wing Republican leaders had impeded progress on the funding proposal, casting a shadow of a potential US shutdown.

A History of Shutdowns

This isn’t the first time the United States has grappled with the specter of a government shutdown. Since 1981, there have been 14 shutdowns, some lasting only a day or two. Notably, a more protracted shutdown occurred between December 2018 and January 2019, lasting a grueling 34 days, owing to issues related to border security.

In this latest instance, the passage of the 45-day funding bill has averted a crisis and ensured the continued operation of the US government. However, the fragility of the situation underscores the importance of bipartisan cooperation in safeguarding the nation’s fiscal stability.

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