The federal government won’t have the money to run itself on Friday unless Congress passes a budget before midnight Thursday. If President Barack Obama doesn’t sign a bill before that deadline, the U.S. will have another government shutdown like the one in September of 2013.
It's unclear whether the federal government will shut down again this year. Some policy riders in the bill, like undoing a provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law of 2010 that prevented banks from using taxpayer-backed units for derivatives trading, and increasing contribution limits to political parties, have Democrats angered over the bipartisan deal on the $1.1 trillion spending bill. And some conservative Republicans aren’t thrilled with the budget bill either because they view it as not being punitive enough against Obama over his executive actions on immigration. So there’s no guarantee that an agreement will be hammered out by the deadline, even if both parties want to keep the government open and the general mood is that there won’t be a shutdown. "I am cautiously optimistic," a senior GOP aide told Fox News on Thursday. "But I am very nervous."
Senators on both sides of the aisle complained that the bill wasn’t strictly about government funding. U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called the manufacturing of the bill “disgraceful” and said before the deal was announced that it would be “jammed full of s---,” according to Politico.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., didn’t signal that she would vote against the bill, but voiced her opposition to the derivatives rider. "The House of Representatives is about to show us the worst of government for the rich and powerful," she said on the Senate floor Wednesday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also slammed the provision, saying it would put “taxpayers back on the hook for Wall Street’s riskiest behavior," although she said she wouldn’t tell her members to oppose the agreement, according to Bloomberg.
Still, a 2014 government shutdown is looking less likely as the deadline approaches, after congressional Republicans proposed Thursday to try and pass a bill to fund the government for a week if a larger compromise can’t be reached. Congress would then come back next week to try and hammer out a three-month funding bill. The 113th Congress was set to disband on Friday.
“We expect the bill to pass with bipartisan support [Thursday,] but if it does not, we will pass a short-term CR to avoid a government shutdown,” Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told Politico. “The length and other details of that bill have not been determined.”
The fight over Obamacare in 2013 caused the government to shut down for 16 days in October. National parks were closed and hundreds of thousands of federal workers were furloughed as a result.