August 11, 2023 at 11:36 a.m.

Rep. Jackson Says Government Shutdown Coming



Rep. Jeff Jackson, NC 14th District | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Congressman Jeff Jackson, who represents NC's 14th district (Gaston & Mecklenburg) says a government shutdown is coming.

Shutdown Approaching

This man just came up to me at the airport and goes, “Hey, are you Jack Jefferson?” 

I said, “That’s pretty close, sure.”

He said, “I’ve got a question for you. Do you think we’re going to have a government shutdown this year?”

And I said, “Probably, yes.”

He asked why, and here’s what I told him:

The budget for the federal government runs out the last day of September. Passing a new budget is actually passing 12 separate bills.

In the House, we’ve passed one.

The other 11 bills haven’t come to a vote - but that’s not because of a fight between Republicans and Democrats.

It’s because there’s an internal fight within the majority party about spending levels and whether to add a bunch of cultural issues like new restrictions on abortion.

Which is the official story - but here’s what’s really happening:

This isn’t about the budget.

In the House you’ve got a group of folks in the right-flank who want to shut down the government. So, they’re asking for things they know everyone else in their party will say no to.

Why?

Because they know they’ll get wall-to-wall media coverage for every moment we’re shut down. Every camera and microphone in the Capitol will be pointed right at them, day after day. That is millions of dollars in free advertising.

The only real question is whether the Speaker is going to let them do it.

If he wants to stand up to them, it would mean calling a vote on these budget bills that his right-flank will oppose, knowing that he’ll need votes from the other party to pass them.

And if he does that - if he goes around his right-flank - they will go ballistic and they might fire him as Speaker. They’ve got the votes to oust him whenever they want, hence their extreme leverage despite small overall numbers.

Add it all up, and I think Speaker McCarthy sees his path of least political resistance to be simply gifting his right-flank a temporary shutdown.

It won’t be as catastrophic as default, which is what almost happened a few months ago. That was about not paying our debt. This would be about not funding the operation of the government itself, so a lot of government services would come to a halt. It’s unclear exactly which ones, as all shutdowns vary somewhat.

The Senator from Alabama

Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville


The blockade continues. The Senator is still blocking the nomination of every general and admiral in the military over abortion policy.

We’re at 301 nominations blocked.

Meanwhile, last week the Army Chief of Staff retired. A few weeks ago, the Marine Chief retired. That means that, for the first time in history, we’re lacking two confirmed service chiefs.

The blockade is also holding up command changes for our 5th and 7th fleets, which cover the Middle East and Pacific.

The Secretary of Defense has spoken with this Senator several times about the effect this is having, to no avail.

It’s a bad situation with no end in sight.

My Good Little Weather Bill

Right after I got elected, some meteorologists from my district got in touch.

They told me that the Charlotte-metro region is in one of the biggest radar coverage gaps in the country.

In short, about 40 years ago the federal government created a network of Doppler radars all across the country.

They skipped Charlotte. Since then, we’ve grown a lot.

As a result, Charlotte actually gets its weather data from a Doppler radar located 80 miles away, in South Carolina. This means less accurate forecasts, particularly with low-altitude, fast-moving storms.

So I’ve filed a bill to try and fix this. I also raised the issue with the department that runs the National Weather Service when they testified before the Science Committee.

And the reason I’m telling you about this is because work like this is how I spend most of my time.

The front-page craziness really isn’t a huge part of my daily calendar. I see it, and I try to convey my sense of it to you, but I don’t want to mislead you about what serving in Congress actually means. It’s overwhelmingly about working through your committees to try and find practical outcomes wherever you can.

I hope you take that as good news. Almost everything that gets broadcast from the Capitol is political warfare, but so far that’s been a pretty small part of the actual experience for me. That doesn’t diminish the crazy stuff, but I hope it gives you a fuller picture of what’s actually happening inside the building.



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