ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — With a looming government shut down for October 1, many people throughout the country could be impacted by delays in funding for federal programs. A shutdown happens when Congress fails to come to an agreement on how to spend the country’s money.
“My guess is that if the government shuts down this week there will be a strong public reaction because I think most Americans would agree with the sentiment that we pay them to do their jobs, and getting a budget done is top of the list,” said Blair Horner, Executive Director at watchdog group NYPIRG. Horner said government shutdowns have become all too familiar in recent years. “We’re dancing right up to the fiscal cliff. the question is, by the end of the day tomorrow will the dance end up with people falling off the cliff?”
Our Capitol Correspondent Amal Tlaige was told food assistance programs could also be disrupted. Congressman Paul Tonko weighed in, “We have had weeks and months to prepare for this, there’s been an agreement that goes back to June, a five way agreement with the president and both majority, minority of both the United States senate, and the House of Representatives, that agreement is now law.”
Tonko said Republicans have decided to claw back on the principles of that agreement. Tlaige reached out to multiple republican Congress people for an interview but could not schedule one for Friday. However congressman Marc Molinaro released a video statement Thursday saying the following, “Our job in government is to simply fix the roof, and a bipartisan government absolution must be bipartisan, that’s what I’m continuing to work on.”
For now, Tonko advises New Yorkers to call their individual congressional reps. He says the next two days will consist of members going in and out of session trying to reach an agreement.