As the United States steadily marches toward a budget shortage that would kick off a Christmastime government shutdown, a deal to bridge the spending gap is teetering in the balance. But what makes this looming shutdown different from others in the past few years, said Nick Beauchamp, assistant professor of political science at Northeastern, is who will be blamed for it.
“The game with this shutdown brinkmanship is which side, Democrats or Republicans, gets more blame for it,” he said. “This time around, [President Donald] Trump just said he’d take responsibility for it.”
Why might the government shut down?
Congress has until midnight on Friday, Dec. 21 to avert a partial shutdown, because nine federal agencies will run out of money by then. To prevent this, Congress can either pass legislation to fund those agencies or by pass a stopgap measure that would keep those nine agencies funded at their current levels for a short period.
By Wednesday, it appeared Congress would do the latter. A bill passed the Senate late Wednesday night that would’ve funded those nine agencies through Feb. 8.