At Midnight on January 20, the failure of our partisan political system reared its ugly head. The current age of us versus them mentality prompted this action. The failure for two of the three branches of the US Government to reach a consensus causes different parts of the federal government to shutdown. For our readers, we will directly feel this through the closure of the NLS BARD, Social Security offices for processing new claims or adjustments, IRS, and different aspects of the departments of Health and Human Services and Education.
Below is the official statement from the NLS BARD:
“Due to a lapse in Federal funding, as of 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 19, BARD is not being updated. Updates will resume when funding is restored. The status of Library of Congress operations can be found by visiting www.loc.gov.”
All major news outlets report that benefits and services, like Social Security benefits to VA hospitals, will continue regular operations. Last time, Medicare continued normal operations for participants, while providers faced delays in reimbursements. However programs like NLS BARD do not receive advance appropriations like the VA or reside in the special categories that allows for it to continue regular operations.
At this point we are in a wait and see mode. Predictions on how long the shutdown will last ranges from a couple of days to a week or so. With the shutdown starting on Saturday, Congress has the weekend before anyone starts to really notice any changes.
There is something we can learn from yet another Government shutdown. We must stop fighting amongst ourselves. Politicians and individuals of opposing factions once drafted mutually beneficial compromises.used to talk and agree upon mutually beneficial compromises. Today, Republicans and Democrats play the all or none game. We need to stop the beliefs that the other side is our enemy and come together and talk. The rise in political extremism over the last several years is counterproductive in the art of peace and compromise. Let us work together to end the radicalization of our nation’s political system and demand compromise and not victory.