The only way out? The usual: Congress must pass at least a continuing resolution, just like it did back in September keeping the government open up to the next deadline.
That last bare-bones bill saved the day—but passing such temporary measures isn’t the best way to run a multi-trillion dollar organization.
“Federal employees, like everyone else, are planning their family year-end celebrations and the thought that a government shutdown could ruin those plans is upsetting,” Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said recently. “Civil servants are not involved in the funding dispute yet they are the ones who suffer if it goes unresolved.”
Other union leaders over these past months have likewise lambasted lawmakers and the White House for past shutdowns and near-shutdowns, along the same lines.
Of course, not only unions but a majority of federal employees themselves—as shown in the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results, released earlier this month—decry the effects of shutdowns, with most feds expressing that they suffered negative effects from last winter’s partial shutdown.
Will Congress and the White House—at the last minute—compromise enough to avoid another wasteful, damaging shutdown? Even passing a CR is tricky this year, as differences over the White House’s conduct and impeachment hearings could render the already polarized atmosphere even more so.