Stefani Reynolds Agence France-Presse Dissensions in Congress – between majority Republicans in the House and Democratic majority in the Senate – are such that elected officials are currently unable to vote on one-year budgets.
The House of Representatives approved on Tuesday an extension of the federal state budget, hoping to prevent the paralysis in three days of the American administration.
This text, supported by elected Democratic and Republican officials, must be adopted in the Senate by midnight on the night of Friday to Saturday, in order to ward off this threat with devastating consequences.
If nothing is done to extend the budget by then, the country will suddenly slow down: 1.5 million civil servants will be deprived of salaries, air traffic will be disrupted, while visitors to national parks will find their doors closed.
Most elected officials from both camps do not want this extremely unpopular situation, the famous “shutdown”, especially as the American Thanksgiving holidays approach. .
Two months after having narrowly avoided shutting down part of the country, the world's leading economic power once again finds itself close to the precipice.
The dissensions in Congress – between Republicans in the majority in the House and Democrats, in the Senate – are such that elected officials are currently unable to vote on one-year budgets, contrary to what most do of the world's economies.
Instead, the United States must make do with a series of one- or two-month mini-budgets.
Each time one of these budgets expires, everything has to be done again: acrimonious negotiations, commented on extensively on social networks, threats, then a series of votes, in the House, in the Senate…
It is certainly very common for last minute agreements to be reached on these finance laws.
But the last negotiations around the American federal budget, at the end of September, plunged Congress into chaos.
Trumpist elected officials, furious that the then Republican President of the House had reached a last minute agreement with the Democratic camp, dismissed him, an absolutely unprecedented situation.
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Crisis of debt in June
This time, the agreement on the table proposes to extend the budget to two different deadlines: one part until mid-January, the other until the beginning of February.
It was presented by the new Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, unknown to the general public and with very limited experience within the Republican staff.
The elected representative from Louisiana, by his own admission, is still trying to find his feet.
“I’ve only been doing this job for three weeks,” he said Tuesday during a press conference.
He is in any case forced to deal, like his predecessor, with a handful of Trumpists, supporters of a very strict budgetary orthodoxy, and the Democrats, who refuse to have the country's economic policy dictated to them by lieutenants of the former president.
These are the same conservative elected officials who pushed the United States to the brink four months ago.
The world's leading power then avoided a default at the last minute payment following lengthy negotiations between the Biden administration and conservatives.