Avoiding a paralysis of the American state | Joe Biden enacts budget law

(Washington) Joe Biden on Saturday promulgated the law financing the American state until the end of September, adopted a few hours earlier by Congress and preventing the world’s leading power from a “shutdown”, the paralysis of its public services.




“This bipartisan law that I have just signed allows the government to continue to govern, invests in the American people and strengthens our economy and our national security,” greeted the President of the United States in a press release.

During the night from Friday to Saturday, the Senate with a Democratic majority let the fateful midnight deadline supposed to trigger this paralysis, called “shutdown”, pass. But the senators agreed on the final adoption of this finance law of 1,200 billion dollars.

“It was not easy, but our perseverance was worth it,” welcomed the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, the elected representative from New York Chuck Schumer, from the hemicycle, after hours of intense negotiations with elected Republican officials.

“It is good for the Americans that we have reached an agreement,” he added, before the final approval of the text.

This small delay should have no major impact on American ministries which risked being deprived of funding due to lack of agreement.

PHOTO ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The small delay should have no major impact on the American departments which risked being deprived of funding due to lack of agreement.

A year of chaos

More than a great danger for the United States, these last minute twists and turns illustrate the chaos reigning in the American Congress.

Over the past year, the institution has dismissed one of its leaders, failed to send funds to Ukraine and only narrowly avoided the bankruptcy of the world’s leading economic power.

Friday morning, the vote on the federal state budget in the House of Representatives, which was also supposed to approve this text, was also the scene of spectacular developments.

A few minutes after the vote, elected official Marjorie Taylor Greene, close to Donald Trump, declared that she had filed a motion to oust the head of the institution, Republican Mike Johnson, whom she accused of “treason”.

PHOTO NATHAN HOWARD, REUTERS ARCHIVES

Marjorie Taylor Greene

A handful of ultra-conservative elected officials criticize the Republican, in office since October, of having made too many budgetary concessions to the Democrats.

“We need a new speaker,” said the elected official, known for her escapades, her provocations and her insulting remarks, to journalists.

This twist of theater also has an air of déjà vu.

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was impeached only a few months ago in a very similar scenario.

Will Mike Johnson be the second Republican leader to bear the brunt of budget negotiations?

The tension surrounding the adoption of these budget laws is such that the United States has so far failed to adopt any budget for 2024 – a situation that no other major global economy faces.

Instead, they operated for months through the adoption of mini-budgets, expiring after a few weeks, a headache for US government departments.

Funds cut for UNRWA

The law, finally adopted, extends the American budget until the end of the financial year, i.e. September 30.

This 1012-page text, the result of very acrimonious negotiations, contains measures which could have strong repercussions abroad.

The text thus prohibits any direct funding from the United States to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, at the heart of a controversy since Israel accused 12 of its approximately 13,000 employees at the end of January of Gaza to be involved in the deadly October 7 attack perpetrated by Hamas.

The law also contains hundreds of millions of dollars for Taiwan, but does not release any funding for Ukraine, with the envelope for Kyiv being the subject of separate negotiations.

The latter is blocked by Donald Trump’s Republicans who want to condition it on immigration to the United States – a hot point in the presidential campaign – and President Biden warned both houses of Congress on Saturday: “The job is not not finished. »

“The House must pass additional bipartisan national security provisions to advance our national security interests. And Congress must pass the bipartisan border security agreement (Mexico), the strongest and fairest reform in decades,” the Democratic leader said in a statement.

The adopted text also contains a litany of provisions not necessarily linked to the budget.

Like the ban on American embassies from flying the rainbow flag, the standard of the LGBT+ community, contrary to what some were accustomed to doing on the occasion of “Pride Month”.

A first text adopted on March 9 had already made it possible to complete another part of the 2024 budget.


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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