While it appears that the federal shutdown that has been looming at the end of the week may be adverted, the agreement between Senate Democrats and House Republicans is more of a stop-gap than a long term solution. Both sides still disagree on how much money should be cut from the federal budget and what programs should see those cuts, possibly resulting in a federal shutdown further down the road.
As it stands right now, it appears the Senate Democrats are willing to agree to a two-week continuing resolution that was proposed by the House Republicans. This agreement would cut $4 billion from a variety of programs that were proposed in President Obama’s 2012 budget proposal. While these are the easy budget cuts to make, the two week continuing resolution does not mean that a federal shutdown could not occur in the future. The agree would buy the two sides an additional two weeks to find a long term solution without having to shutdown any parts of the federal government.
The worrisome part of this whole debate is that the two parties cannot agree on the budget for the rest of this fiscal year let alone the 2012 budget and whether or not Congress will raise the country’s legal debt limit. These other two issues could lead to additional federal shutdowns if the Senate Democrats and House Republicans cannot get together and come up with a solution that both parties can agree on. While the country may have dodged a bullet regarding a federal shutdown this week, it appears there are many other opportunities for a federal shutdown to become a reality.