By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer
It’s the weekend, and the US government has now been “shut down” since midnight on Tuesday. The US Congress still remains as divided as ever over funding the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and this has brought the funding of other government programs to a screeching halt. Over 800,000 government employees aren’t being paid, waiting with frustration for Congress to move forward.
That’s not the only problem. There’s going to be another round of head-butting over whether or not to raise the “debt ceiling” – basically, the limit on how much money the US government can borrow. If that limit’s not raised, then the government won’t have enough money to pay its bills.
In a perfect world, the two parties will come together and work out a mega deal on both issues, setting aside their differences and compromising fairly. However, Republicans usually don’t like raising the debt ceiling, because they believe it just encourages the government to spend money irresponsibly. They’d rather cut programs (like Obamacare) to free up some money. Democrats, on the other hand, often view borrowing as a necessary evil. After all, when people buy expensive items like cars and homes, they typically borrow and pay the money back little by little over time.
If the US hits the debt ceiling without raising it, then the people who lend money (like banks and other countries) will be less likely to trust the US to pay off its debts.
The good news, is that CNN and several other news sources have reported that House Speaker John Boehner, in private meetings with Republicans, told them he’ll get something passed to avoid such a terrible situation.
Featured image courtesy of Senate Democrats on Flickr. Image of Boehner courtesy of Speaker Boehner on Flickr.