Shatha Khalil *
US President Donald Trump signed a short-term bill to temporarily fund the central government to end the three-day budget crisis of 2018 due to political differences between Republicans and Democrats and to continue to negotiate to solve the budget crisis at the scheduled time in the next February 8 .
While Trump described himself as “a genius and mentally healthy” and that no one knows the system better than him, he is the only one who can fix it as he said , he failed to push Congress to pass the 2018 budget bill, distorting his image as a professional in making deals and repairing all that has been broken in Washington and the budget crisis prove Trump’s failure to manage the world’s largest state where the difference in the Senate led to the paralyze the federal government for three days as the White House accused the Democrats of making Americans “hostages to their irresponsible demands” and close the Federal government .
The US budget of 2018, approved by the US Congress, is estimated at about $ 4.1 trillion
What does the mechanism of disabling the federal state mean? It is a law that will be enforced if Congress does not approve the budget, that is, the closure of many federal state institutions classified as “unnecessary” under the Protection of Financial Impairment Act because it is unable to finance their economic and administrative activities.
This is the first time this “disabling” procedure has been implemented since October 2013 under former President Barack Obama. It has continued for 16 days and translated into technical unemployment without wages for more than 850,000 federal employees who are “not essential” to the administration’s work
As hundreds of thousands of US government employees have temporarily suspended on Saturday after Congress failed to reach a budget settlement.
After the last session of the Congress, which saw an exchange of accusations between Republicans and Democrats, leader of the Republican majority in the Senate Mitch McConnell promised in a speech to address key issues of concern to Democrats, particularly the amendment of immigration laws.
“Unless these issues are resolved before the end the deadline of the approval of the budget in 8 February 2018 that ensures the open of the government , I will work on legislation on the Dhaka + program, border security and other related issues,” McConnell said.
Democrats have rejected a request for interim federal funding unless they address the issue of migrants within the Dhaka program for fear that Republican leaders will not move to protect them before their deportation, which begins in March. McConnell has promised Democrats to address the migration issue in time.
Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded by saying that he was “pleased to continue the discussion with the majority leader on the reopening of government institutions,” adding that the two parties had not yet to reach an agreement on moving forward to find a solution.
The differences between Democrats and Republicans that led to the closure of the federal government centered around the following key points:
• Migration issues.
• Border security.
• Military expenditure.
Democrats are demanding President Donald Trump to negotiate about the immigration as part of a budget deal and find a solution to the 700,000 so-called Dreamers who have entered the United States illegally as children and are threatened with expulsion after the abolition of Daka program ” which was approved by the Barack Obama administration and granted temporary residence permits. The Democrats reject any decision unless their demands are met on immigration rules, while Trump’s tough stance on immigration makes it difficult to resolve the crisis .
Republicans are demanding funding for border security, including a proposed border wall with Mexico, immigration reforms and increased military spending by a budget for 2018, one of the promises of the Tramp campaign in which he said the armed forces lacked equipment after more than 16 years of non-stop wars .
“There are US soldiers preparing to spend six months in Kuwait and fear not to be paid, and this is unacceptable,” Vice President Mike Pence said during a stopover in Shannon, Ireland, where he met US military on missions abroad.
As a result of the lack of approval of the budget, many federal agencies, such as tax, defense and security departments, have ceased to operate. The Defense Ministry has issued a statement that “all military personnel will continue to work normally” but without salaries. The number of Defense Ministry employees is 1.5 million, while the number of security employees is 40 thousand.
The mechanism of disruption will apply according to past American experiences with the crisis itself, the US president personally, considering that three quarters of the staff of the White House will be out of work .Trump administration said more than 1,000 employees, out of 1715, at the White House, would be forced to leave unpaid.
But a large number of staff – about three-quarters of the 640,000 civilians serving in the Pentagon – will remain at home.
Leading to a slowdown in work and could affect the huge defense sector that relies on contracts with the Pentagon.
The disruption of the budget will also affect customs, border patrols, immigration and citizenship and immigration agencies and on the land, sea and air borders of the country. The Federal Aviation Authority (FIA) said it will continue to operate and airports will remain open to passengers.
Even public parks and museums will remain open, but some government employees will be on temporary leave while private contractors who provide food and other services will continue to work.
The impact also includes the Ministry of Transport, which will continue to work with 34,000 employees out of 55,000 without pay, while 61% of the staff of preventive centers will leave their jobs. A large number of National Institutes of Health Research will stop to provide services; the large number of federal administrations which are not key ones will close its doors, including the tax authority, social insurance and housing and construction agencies. This means that the licenses and documents will not be checked. The work of contractors will be blocked and their projects will be stopped. This will negatively affect the economy and work in the state institutions as the state is not committed to pay salaries to the federal employees for the duration of the closure.
With the presence of the crisis of approval of budget and the breakdown of most of the country’s institutions, there are basic government institutions that will continue to function normally, including Congress, the federal courts, the veteran’s office and the Post Office.
The investigation by independent investigator Robert Mueller will not stop on possible complicity between President Trump’s presidential team and Russia.
The crisis has not been the first in the country since the government has been closed 18 times since 1976, the first of which was at Carter’s time, and the latest is the current crisis, the first in the first year of a US president’s term, and his party dominating both the White House and Congress.
We come to the conclusion that Trump’s crisis management is not dynamic and suffers from an administrative deficit to manage the affairs dragging the country into a deadlock.
“I hope it will take hours or days and it ends, but we need a substantive answer, and the only person who can lead us to this answer is President Trump , this closure is related to the president ” Democratic Senator Dick Dorpin said.
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies