If they can't work this out, what will happen on May 15 when we hit our debt ceiling?
A government shutdown at the end of the week looks all but certain now. Yesterday – a meeting between Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid failed to produce a budget deal. Due to procedural rules in Congress – a deal needed to be reached by last night to allow for a vote before Friday when the government runs out of money.
A new number floating around is $40 billion in cuts – that’s higher than Democrats have been willing to go in previous negotiations – and a possible point of compromise for both parties – though it is still well below the mark that Tea Party Republicans have been calling for. House Republicans have posted a clock on their website counting down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the government shuts down. Senate Democrats are trying to pass legislation that would cut off the paychecks to Members of Congress and the President if indeed the government does shut down.
Unless a deal can be reached – and be reached very soon – then expect that come Friday night – most bureaucratic services in the federal government to grind to halt. That includes passport approvals, tax returns, new Medicare claims, new Social Security claims, also public parks and museums will be closed, and even trash collection in Washington, DC will cease.
Why are tax increases not on the table?
If they can't work this out, what will happen on May 15 when we hit our debt ceiling and are looking at an actual default?