After 16 days of shutdown, a bill has passed to reopen the government. According to Yahoo! News, the Senate voted 81-18 and the House voted 285-144 to pass the measure.
Thank goodness, because without this bill, the country would have defaulted on debt payments. It appears the Treasury Department announced that national debts could not be payed in the next 24 hours.
Thursday is considered the “big one”: the day the federal government could no longer borrow money. USNEWS explains at this time the Treasury would only have $30 billion, enough to cover spending for a few days.
Everyone in government positions appears to be eager to get back to work, and according to CNN Yosemite National Park started resuming operations on Wednesday night, hours after the bill was passed.
This seems all well and good, except the bill expresses that the debt cushion will extend through to Feb. 7. The short deadline is looking more like a Band-Aid than a solution, and the country needs to be watching what the White House will be doing in the next few months. Another government shutdown around the corner is not going to work. Rushed fixes in the 11th hour is not a good governing habit.
It appears many have lost some amount of faith in the American government and its operations. Reactions have ranged from concern to slightly extreme. Many concerns were of course linked to job seekers and unemployment benefits. A CNN article even reported one man claiming government collapse would next lead to riots and destruction.
Either way, some of the programs shut down with the government have already been previewed. If you are an outdoor adventurer or trying to get a loan, some of these changes were very interactive for people. If funding policies are further extended, Social Security benefits could be tricky, new passport applications will not be accepted, public institutions and state parks will close, as they did during this shutdown, and federal loans for new home buyers will freeze.
It looks like the Republicans have given up this battle to use the budget impasse to strip the new health care law funding. This health care law would reduce subsidies for Medicare, helping make insurance affordable for low income Americans. For now, or until Feb. 7, the government will remain open and government health care will continue to be functioning.
The New York Times has recently released that the House and Senate have to hold talks and come to an agreement by Dec. 13 on a long term plan for tax and spending policies. Hopefully by then the two groups can come to some sort of plan. At least now the government can remain open even while decisions and negotiations are being talked through.
Veronica Mazzolini is a senior English Lit major and French Minor. She has been working at The Spectator for two years. Veronica enjoys reading, and is afraid of gnomes.