U.S. Congress facing potential government shutdown

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The United States Congress is facing a potential government shutdown this Friday if it doesn’t pass a short time extension, as government funding is set to expire on Dec. 16th at midnight.

It’ll take a compromise to pass the National Defense Authorization Act.

The bill heads to the Senate with one of the most notable changes being the removal of the vaccination requirement for service members.

“I think it’s a good thing and something that we sent letters on to President Biden who actually acted on so I think that’s a good thing,” Rep. Greg Murphy said.

The more immediate turnaround deadline is the extension of the funding measure that must be passed to avoid a government shutdown.

“We have been doing this year after year and we don’t have a budget process that really helps the Democratic and Republican difference that we can start our year with, the budget fiscal year with, so that’s unusual for many countries and I think that could fix the process,” Daniel Xu, an East Carolina University political science professor says.

The extension will only take the budget as far as a new Congress when Republicans take House control and will have to cut a deal with Senate Democrats.

“We have to fund the government, we have to have postal workers get paid, we have to have government officials, and our military getting paid,” Murphy says.

Xu adds that the shutdown is going to impact us.

“But what we learned from the past is that we can still get by and survive through a temporary shutdown of federal government because they still provide us with those essentials.”

The NDAA is expected to get a vote in the Senate this week and be approved. After, it will head to President Biden’s desk for his signature.

The extension is expected to last as short as a week but could be extended, which would prolong a government shutdown to when the Republicans take control.