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Sunday, September 17, 2023

Fourth Stimulus Check: Can A Government Shutdown Stop The Check Negotiations?

Congress needs to pass loads of funding bills on stimulus checks by Friday or they have to face the prospect of a government shutdown. This might be a huge embarrassment for the Democratic Party.

The government is planning to go into shutdown from Friday midnight unless Congress provides their approval to a short-term spending package, which can provide funding for federal agencies.

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They have to agree to 12 funding bills, every year but have been unable to do anything which leaves the prospect of a shutdown, open. In previous shutdowns, the government agencies have been able to prioritize the remaining funds to ensure that certain essential services can remain open.

If the government goes into shutdown, it will affect the legislative powers of Congress and draw the attention away from other important matters. There are no plans, right now, to pass a fourth stimulus check.

A shutdown would eat up more time in the congressional agenda and serve to further delay the passage of President Biden’s Build Back Better bill. The President has been looking to secure the crucial remaining votes of moderate Democrats Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, and a lengthy shutdown would provide a major distraction.

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Stimulus Check Update: Biden Can Be Embarrassed Due To Shutdown

The House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday, which provides funding for the fed through February. It was passed with a vote of 221-212. For the bill to be passed before the Friday midnight deadline all 100 senators must agree to circumvent Senate rules and hold a vote, something that is far from guaranteed.

A number of conservative senators like Mike Lee, Ron Johnson, and Ted Cruz have insisted that a vote be held to stop federal money from being used to enforce the vaccine mandates. Vaccine mandates have become a partisan issue and certain GOP members appear willing to blow up the funding proposals to disrupt the mandate. Such debates have shifted the focus from stimulus checks, over to the vaccine mandates.

Failure to agree on a deal and allow the government to go into shutdown would be a huge embarrassment for Biden and the Democrats, given that they currently hold unified power in Washington. Biden’s failure to pass the remainder of his Build Back Better agenda could cost his party in the 2022 mid-terms and he will be desperate to secure a legislative victory before the New Year. So, all in all, a government shutdown, which is imminent in December, might stop the fourth stimulus check from being negotiated.

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