As the partial government shutdown enters week two, congressional leaders are nowhere near an agreement on passing a continuing resolution to (CR) fund the government. Last week the House passed piecemeal spending measures including funding for the District of Columbia, veterans programs, and national parks. This week they will continue to fund other programs and agencies in this manner, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Head Start. Senate Democrats have opposed these smaller pieces of legislation, demanding a bill that would exclusively provide money for the whole government. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) says there are not enough votes in the House to pass a clean funding bill – one without conditions, such as defunding the Affordable Care Act.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury estimates the federal government will hit the country’s borrowing limit Oct. 17. Without increasing the debt limit, the United States would default on its debt, which some economists say would trigger a major economic disaster. Similar to the CR debate, Republicans want to attach spending cuts to raising the debt limit, but Democrats will not pass an increase with policy riders attached.