Flight delays, millions of federal staff unpaid and trash piles loom as U.S. barrels


Chaos in Congress left America teetering on the brink of a new shutdown with government funding set to expire Saturday at midnight.

The now all-but-guaranteed shutdown will mean flight mayhem, garbage piling up, national parks shuttered and members of the military not getting paid.

Twenty-one hardline Republican members of Congress sided with all Democrats on Friday to vote no to a last ditch stopgap spending plan.

It was a brutal defeat for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who has faced relentless criticism from the right of his party.

If no 11th-hour deal is reached then 3.5 million federal workers will have to go without pay – 2 million members of the military and 1.5 million federal civilian employees

Over half the civilian employees will be furloughed, and the rest will have to show up for work without payment.

The GOP is now scrambling to find an agreement that will avoid widespread chaos and disruption across the country.

The party-line plan that would have cut spending by $1.471 trillion and bolstered border security.

It was a brutal defeat for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who has faced relentless criticism from the right of his party.

Even if the bill had passed, it would not have prevented a shutdown: it would never have been taken up in the Senate, which is working on its own bipartisan measure that McCarthy has rejected.

However it would have marked a starting point between the House and Senate proposals.  

Some Republicans have suggested the real deadline to get something done is now October 13, the date when service members would miss their first paycheck. 

For now, federal workers deemed ‘essential’ are forced to work without pay. Those deemed non-essential are furloughed. 

Members of Congress and the president will keep getting paid, though many have said they won’t take a paycheck. Many of their staffers will keep working without pay but will get backpay when a deal is passed. 

Others like janitors and cafeteria workers who are employed by third-party contractors will likely be furloughed without backpay. 

White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Shalanda Young mocked McCarthy’s own insistence that he wouldn’t take a paycheck during the shutdown. 

‘I’m glad that the speaker has made that statement. By the way, members of Congress have to get paid constitutionally so maybe he’ll put it in a sock drawer,’ she told reporters at the White House. 

‘They have to get paid during a shutdown. 

‘That’s theatre. That is theatre.

‘I will tell you, the guy who picks up the trash in my office won’t get a paycheck. That’s real. And that’s what makes me angry.’

Meanwhile, the White House claims 10,000 children would lose access to Head Start programs across the country as the Department of Health and Human Services does not award grants during a shutdown. 

They claim nearly 7 million women and children could lose access to WIC, the nutrition assistance program, without new funding. 

The National Institutes of Health would likely furlough most of its staff, putting off new clinical trials and medical treatments. 

All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will shut their doors. National Parks might remain open but may not have visitor services like bathrooms and park directors. 

Potential delays loom on the horizon for customer service with Medicare and Social Security, though payments should continue unaffected because these programs are funded through permanent, not annual, appropriations. 

Those who voted against the bill insist the only way to move forward is 12 single-subject spending bills for fiscal year 2024. 

Trash can overflows as people sit outside of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial by the Tidal Basin, Dec. 27, 2018, in Washington, during a partial government shutdown

Trash can overflows as people sit outside of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial by the Tidal Basin, Dec. 27, 2018, in Washington, during a partial government shutdown

Trash can overflows as people sit outside of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial by the Tidal Basin, Dec. 27, 2018, in Washington, during a partial government shutdown

Trash can overflows as people sit outside of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial by the Tidal Basin, Dec. 27, 2018, in Washington, during a partial government shutdown

The failed vote was a brutal defeat for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy , who has faced relentless criticism from the right of his party

The failed vote was a brutal defeat for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy , who has faced relentless criticism from the right of his party

House Republicans will now huddle together in an emergency all-conference meeting at 4 p.m.  

‘It’s not the end yet. I have other ideas,’ McCarthy told reporters after the failed vote. The House will now hold votes on Saturday but it’s not yet clear on what. 

Rank-and-file Republicans have grown increasingly frustrated with the rightward flank of their party.

‘EVERY SINGLE DEMOCRAT just joined Matt Gaetz and MTG for open borders and a closed government,’ Rep. John James, R-Mich., wrote on X. ‘Democrats and the Clown Caucus care more about their fundraising goals than America’s wellbeing.’

And a frustrated McCarthy earlier had said he was pushing the bill to the floor whether or not it had the votes to pass. 

‘Every member will have to go on record of where they stand. Are they willing to secure the border? Or do they side with President Biden on an open border and vote against a measure to keep government open?’ he said. 

Meanwhile the Senate is pressing forward with its own version of a continuing resolution that has support from both Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. 

The Senate CR has money for the Ukraine and no border provisions and McCarthy has said he will not bring it up in the House as-is. 

The speaker celebrated a win in passing three appropriations bills Thursday night – State-Foreign Operations, Homeland Security, and Defense. That brings the total to four of 12 appropriations bills – none of which will pass the Senate.

‘Last night, the House did something none of you sitting here thought we can do.’

‘Need I remind you how much as the Senate passed? Zero,’ he added. 

The speaker has framed the CR as the only way to secure the border amid a fresh surge of migrants crossings. He noted there have been 50,000 illegal crossings in the past five days. 

‘I can’t understand why someone would side with President Biden and keeping the border open,’ he said. ‘We’ll see when the vote comes. If those individuals vote that way, you should ask them that question.’



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