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    Congress Barely Evades Government Shutdown, Awaits for Senate's Decision

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    Although the Congress has barely evaded a government shutdown, the House bill still needs approval from the Senate and another budget crisis will cost the American taxpayers almost $150 million a day.

    MOSCOW, December 12 (Sputnik), Ekaterina Blinova — Although the US Congress has narrowly evaded a government shutdown after a 219-206 vote, the House bill still needs the Senate's approval on Friday, "though that could slip," CNN remarks.

    "The Senate will likely vote on the House bill on Friday, though that could slip. President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law once it passes the Senate," the CNN reported.

    The vote on the $1.1 trillion spending bill in the Congress "followed a long day of drama and discord on Capitol Hill," Reuters stressed, as the specter of 2013 government shutdown still haunts the American lawmakers.

    "The last three government shutdowns – in late 2013, late 1995 and early 1996 – were chaotic for federal workers, posed major inconveniences for the public, and prompted a political backlash," the Fiscal Times emphasizes, and posed a rhetorical question whether the US government shutdown has already become an annual event.

    The media outlet points out that the US budget crisis costs about $150 million of taxpayer money a day, adding that in 1995, the government wasted almost $1.9 billion in today's dollars because of Capitol Hill's inner political discord. Another government shutdown would affect over 800,000 of federal employees, who would inevitably face a layoff, while many federal services would be shuttered. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention would suspend its critical disease surveillance and toxic clean up and work would be stopped at almost 609 sites. Thus, a dysfunctional American government is "playing fast and loose with American lives," the Fiscal Times underscores.

    It should be noted that the emergency spending of the bill includes $64 billion for overseas military operations, $5 billion for the administration to battle with the Islamic State and another $5.4 billion to be spent on Ebola epidemic countermeasures. The Hill notes that the bill contains no funding "for body cameras for police, which Obama had requested after the outcry over police killings of two African-Americans, and grand jury decisions not to indict officers involved in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City." The legislation also does not include new funding for ObamaCare and International Monetary Fund, and restricts all federal funding for abortions.

    "This bill puts a big bow on a holiday gift for the Wall Street contributors who get special treatment in the provisions of this bill. It's all about stuffing the silk stockings, and these people want to gamble with our money," Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, said ahead of the vote, as quoted by the CNN. On the other hand, Conservative Republicans expressed their deep discontent with the bill, since "it didn't combat Obama's executive action on immigration."

    If the Senate passed the law, it would fund all US government agencies through September 2015, according to Reuters.


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