Advance Notice: Briefs

Tlaib on possible federal govt. shutdown: Republicans ‘are not engaging us in these budget conversations’ 

By: - September 8, 2023 10:21 am

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) “fears that a [federal government] shutdown” could occur on Sept. 30 | Ken Coleman

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) said she “fears” that a federal government shutdown could occur at the end of the month. The three-term congresswoman made the comment during a roundtable with early childhood education advocates and providers Thursday in Dearborn Heights.

“I think that [House Speaker Kevin] McCarthy (R-Calif.) is struggling within his own caucus right now,” Tlaib said. “It has nothing to do with our Democratic caucus. They [GOP] are not engaging us in these budget conversations.” 

The federal government will shut down at midnight on Sept. 30 if Congress fails to pass spending legislation. Oct. 1 starts the new fiscal year and the date when there must be a new government funding law in place.

‘Nobody convinced anybody’: Michigan leaders react to Trump shutdown speech

This comes after the GOP-led U.S. House threatened this spring to default on the federal debt unless Democratic President Joe Biden agreed to deep spending cuts. Biden and McCarthy reached in May, but far-right Freedom Caucus members have continued to advocate for big budget cuts. 

The House has written its dozen government spending bills significantly below the agreed-upon spending levels and loaded the bills up with social policy riders on abortion and LGBTQ+ issues that couldn’t pass as stand-alone legislation.

But that hasn’t appeased some Republicans who argue the party should force a government shutdown in an attempt to force concessions from Biden. Republicans most recently partially shut down the federal government in 2019 when President Donald Trump sparred with a new Democratic-led U.S. House. Republicans also have led shutdowns during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

While the Senate is back in session Tuesday, the House will not return to work until Sept. 12. Republicans hold a narrow majority in the U.S. House. 

In Michigan, 56,648 children could lose childcare services if a shutdown occurs, according to a The Century Foundation report. The study produced by the nonprofit organization also found that 1,261 childcare programs in the state would go without funding. 

“This will have ripple effects for parents forced out of work or to cut their work hours, for businesses who will lose valuable employees or experience the impact of their employees’ childcare disruptions, and state economies that will lose tax revenue and jobs in the childcare sector as a result,” the report states. 


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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman writes about Southeast Michigan, history and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on Black life in Detroit.