LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The U.S. Government could shutdown Sunday night if lawmakers in Washington, D.C. do not agree on 12 separate spending bills. If this happens, all federal non-essential functions will stop.
Rep. Hillary Scholten (D- Grand Rapids) says the impact could be catastrophic. “Hundreds of thousands of women and children would lose access to the nutritional programs that they rely on through WIC [Women, Infant and Children],” she tells 6 News. “Thousands of Michiganders would lose access to their home loan programs in rural communities that’s funded through the Department of Agriculture.”
Scholten says 87% of Michigan’s businesses are considered small, and a shutdown would have big implications for them. Federal student loans would also come to a halt. If the shutdown happens, federal workers will be put on furlough and national parks and museums will close.
The impasse, she says, is caused by the Speaker of the U.S. House. Rep. Kevin McCarthy. “When speaker McCarthy came together with President Biden and agreed to continue funding the government,” she says. “We agreed that if these appropriations couldn’t be resolved through normal order, we would fund the government at 20-23 levels through the next presidential election to avoid partisan bickering and fighting. “
Congressman Tim Walberg, a Republican from Tipton, Mich., says the claim is inaccurate. “That agreement was just to get the president moving,” he says. “None of us were gonna be happy with just doing nothing except advancing the same old, same old in our budgeting process and the votes wouldn’t be there.”
A shutdown, Walberg says, won’t help and he hopes legislation to temporarily fund the government will happen before the deadline. “We’ll give ourselves 30 more days,” he says. “So, we don’t have a shutdown. And we’ll keep working on a good appropriations package and finish it off in those 30 days.”