The Brink of Shutdown

The government is about to shut down. Those in the halls of government will cease to govern, their staffers won’t get paid, and millions of federal employees will be furloughed and sent home.

It will have an effect on you even if you don’t work for the federal government. National Parks will be closed, passports will be extremely hard to get, and some food assistance programs will be curtailed due to lack of funding.

The plans of millions of Americans will have a wrench thrown in them… all because Kevin McCarthy and Matt Gaetz can’t play nice in the sandbox.

To see how it will affect everyday Americans, look no further than me! I’m a broke recent graduate who just planned my first vacation! Me and a couple friends were going to go up to Wyoming and see Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons in two weeks. We’ve made the plans, bought a Parks Pass, and even put the money down on the AirBnB– but if Republicans can’t get their sh*t together– I won’t be able to go.

I wish there was some complex explanation or nuance that I could give you– but the truth is simple. The whole federal government is going to shut down because Matt Gaetz hates Kevin McCarthy, and because Kevin McCarthy would rather keep the job of Speaker of the House than actually govern.

The Blame Game

Let’s start with who is not to blame.

President Biden is in the clear, he literally has no role in whether or not there is a shutdown.

The next player is Congress. Both branches of Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate, need to pass deals to sustain government funding, avoiding the shutdown.

The Senate has done its job! On Tuesday evening, the Senate leadership team announced that they had passed a bipartisan deal. To nobody’s surprise, both Nebraska Senators voted against this bipartisan effort.

So then, we move to the House of Representatives. In the House, the Republicans have a 221-212 majority. Every single Democrat of the 212 is on board with keeping the government open, however, there are no Republicans willing to make a deal with the Democrats.

The burden is then the Republicans’. A majority vote in the House takes 217 votes, which means Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy can’t afford to lose any more than 4 votes to pass a bill. However, a group of about 6-14 of the most extreme Republicans just hate Kevin McCarthy. Since the Republican majority is so small, McCarthy needs to cede to the demands of the group of extremists if he wants to pass anything.

That brings us to where we are now. Speaker McCarthy doesn’t have the votes to pass a spending package that would keep the government open because the extreme flank of his party won’t fall in line. It leads us to the question– why won’t they sign on and keep the government open?

Dumb and Dumber

The reason that Matt Gaetz and Co aren’t signing on is because of…. Ukraine and Hunter Biden. Yep… you heard that right. It’s not because we’re spending too much, or because the sides simply don’t see eye to eye. It’s because there is a substantial portion of the GOP that is pro-Russia and pro-conspiracy theory.

Part of the Senate’s package included $6 billion in funding to Ukraine for disaster relief. The Russian, I mean Republican, Party, believes that we should not be supporting Ukraine. So, while the whole Democratic Party and a good portion of the GOP support funding Ukraine, the Republican Leadership is beholden to a group of pro-Russian crazies.

But, why can’t the pro-Ukrainian Republicans and the 212 Democrats in the House just work together to pass a bi-partisan spending package?

It’s because Kevin McCarthy is America’s most selfish politician!

Remember when it took 15 rounds of voting to approve McCarthy as Speaker? Well– part of the deal that he struck with the crazies of his party was that they can vote to remove him as Speaker with one, just ONE, vote.

So, yes, Kevin McCarthy could easily put together a package with the help of Democrats, but it would end up in Matt Gaetz invoking that one vote clause and ensuring that McCarthy never served another day as Speaker of the House.

The truth couldn’t be more evident, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy cares more about his job title than the well-being of everyday Americans.

And that, my friends, is why we’re moving at 100mph towards a government shutdown on Sunday.

Around the Horn

With all that on the horizon… we need some good news!

This week, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg visited Grand Island to announce $15 million in investments to improve Nebraska’s railroads! Secretary Buttigieg and the Biden Administration has ensured that infrastructure helps all states, not just the blue ones, and boy are we grateful for that!

President Biden also made history this week, becoming the first sitting US President to ever march in a picket line with striking workers! The President spent Tuesday in Michigan marching with United Auto Workers in solidarity, advocating for better pay and working conditions, truly showing that the Democratic Party is the party of the working class.

Thank you for reading,

Please consider donating to the NDP here. The fight for the soul of our nation is on the ballot in 2024– and we need help in order to keep up with the corporate mega-donors of the GOP.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out at

All the best,

Jack Schiewe





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