Friday Mar 08, 201301:20 PM GMT
Congressional bipartisan divide threatens government shutdown
The US sequester cuts and proposed stopgap measure may fall short in averting a government shutdown if Congress continues its bipartisan battle over the fiscal crisis, Press TV reports.

“[Lawmakers in Washington] have nothing in common in terms of values or goals. It’s not even a question of coming to the middle or compromising on something,” said James Jatras, US domestic policy analyst, adding that “they don’t even want to achieve the same things, so what is there to compromise on?”

The political analyst condemned Congress for allowing its bipartisan divide to overshadow the threat of a shutdown, saying that “it’s something that’s always been with us to some extent but it’s far worse now. There is no common political culture in the United States.”

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives approved the stopgap bill to keep the federal government funded through the end of the fiscal year.

The measure passed with 267 Republicans in favor and 151 Democrats in disapproval.

The bill will provide USD 982 billion dollars in funding to keep government agencies operational beyond April of this year, seeking to avert a potential shutdown when the resolution expires on March 27.

Meanwhile, the bill is headed for a vote at the Democrat-led Senate who along with the White House have voiced strong opposition to the measure unless additional amendments were attached.

“I’m encouraged by the president’s outreach. I hope it bears fruit. But I know this, if we never talk to each other, I know exactly what’s going to happen. This country’s going to fail,” said Republican Senator Lindsay Graham.

Experts criticized Washington for failing to approve a proper budget in recent years, while opting to renew resolutions usually at six-month intervals.

A government shutdown may destabilize the US economy, downgrade the country’s credit rating and push mandatory cuts of USD 1.2 trillion over the next decade.

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