Dems aim to avoid government shutdown that would devastate Black communities
The U.S. House of Representatives has only days to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown by next week’s deadline.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., told theGrio that if a government shutdown takes place, “it’ll be devastating.”
“We’re talking about 800,000 employees who will not get a paycheck. The majority of Black Americans live paycheck to paycheck,” said Bowman.
The congressman added, “If they do not get their paycheck, they cannot pay their rent, mortgage or utilities, transportation, child care, or food, or all of the things that they usually pay for.”
Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), told theGrio that a shutdown would greatly impact many American lives, including Black and brown communities.
“It will affect those on Social Security and Medicare in receiving timely payments,” he said.
“It’s about protecting families who need access to food at a time when we’re weeks out from going into the Thanksgiving holiday, and we have a world that’s in crisis,” Horsford continued.
On Tuesday, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson held a meeting where he and other members of the GOP laid out options for a short-term spending bill to fund the government until Jan. 19.
After the meeting, Johnson told reporters, “We certainly want to avoid a government shutdown. It’s a dangerous time around the world right now. We recognize that.”
He continued, “We’ll be revealing what our plan is in short order.”
To keep the government funded, Congress must pass 12 appropriation bills either together, individually, or on a short-term basis by the Nov. 17 deadline.
Horsford said it is likely the House will have to pass a stopgap measure to prevent a government shutdown in the short term.
“With the international crises that we’re facing, we cannot leave our military service members or those who are involved in providing us readiness without a paycheck,” he said.
“These are the people who will be most harmed by any potential government shutdown caused by House Republicans’ inability to govern,” he continued.
The CBC chairman said House Republicans would be to blame if a government shutdown took place next Friday.
“Republicans are refusing to provide the funding that we need to protect our national security,” he said.
“They’re proposing a $26 billion giveaway to wealthy tax cheats before they’ll even help Israel fight terrorism against Hamas,” Horsford explained. “I mean, this is, unfortunately, what we’re dealing with [at] this moment.”
The looming shutdown comes just months after the nation was faced with such a possibility of on Oct. 1, with just hours to spare.
In September, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., told theGrio during his weekly press conference that if House Republicans neglected to take action, a government shutdown would “devastate parts of the economy” and that would “have an adverse impact on everyday Americans.”
“Particularly those struggling right now, including in communities of color,” the Democratic leader added.
Then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was able to work with House Democrats to pass a continuing resolution that President Joe Biden signed just before the Oct. 1 midnight deadline.
Horsford said that House Democrats are “working hard every day, every hour of the day, to find a bipartisan path forward.”
“It was [House Minority] leader [Hakeem] Jeffries who provided the necessary votes to avoid the last government shutdown,” he said.
“Now we have a new speaker, Mike Johnson, and I hope that he will learn the lesson that you can’t be led by an extreme MAGA faction [within Congress],” Horsford added, “and that it’s necessary for us to do our jobs in Congress which is to work in a bipartisan way.”
For now, the fate of many Americans hangs in the balance, as House members try to work together to pass a stopgap solution that will stave off a government shutdown, at least until January.
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