2019-01-09 / Editorials

The Chatter Box

By Deborah Bennett

If you watch the national news broadcasts, then you are aware that our government is in a partial “shutdown.” I was curious as to what exactly is taking place and did a little “research.”

I discovered that government shutdowns are nothing new to this nation’s political arena. A partial shutdown also occurred in January 2018, October 2013, and twice in 1995. Shutdowns were narrowly avoided in April 2017, and April 2011.

A government shutdown occurs when non-essential federal programs close. The president can do this when Congress fails to appropriate funds. In the normal budget process, Congress appropriates funds by September 30 for the following fiscal year. When that doesn’t happen, then Congress enacts a funding resolution. If Congress can’t agree on one, it forces a shutdown.

The current shutdown, as I am sure you know, involves a fight for funding for the border wall President Trump wants to construct on our southern border with Mexico. It began on Dec. 21st when 400,000 non-critical employees of nine agencies were sent home without pay.

What about Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid payments? The good news is that these programs are part of the mandatory budget. That budget also includes TARP and the Affordable Care Act. These programs are NEVER shut down because their funding is automatic. They were created by separate Acts of Congress. The only way Congress can cut their funding is with another Act.

So, what does this mean for all of us? Hopefully, by the time you read this column the matter will have been settled and this information will just be something for “future reference.” If not, then, we continue to wait and see if our legislators can stop all the bickering and just do their jobs.

Happy birthday this week to: Matt Turner, Ray Garvin, Jeremy Dailey, Thomas (Pug) Davis, Dudley Boynton, Martha Ann Hayes, Tracy Edenfield, Sandra Sherrod, Valerie Sharkey, Brien Linder, Ethelene Young, Sydney Hooks, Linda Fuller.

Celebrating wedding anniversaries are: Mr. and Mrs. Charles Oliver

Military Active Duty

Col. James Eldridge Davis, U.S. Air Force, DoD Pentagon, Washington D.C.; TSgt. Jeremy M. Chestnut, U.S. Air Force, Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS; CPT Justin G. McBride, U.S. Army, Fort Stewart, GA; Chief Warrant Officer 5 Darryll L. Simpkins, U.S. Army, Fort Gordon Logistics Readiness Center, Augusta, GA; Tech Sgt. Stuart Burrus, U.S. Air Force, Shaw AFB, Sumter, S.C.; E-4 Christopher Simmons, U.S. Army, Missouri; E-3 Ralphael Franklin Lovett, U.S. Army, Kuwait; E-4 Rhonda Lovett, U.S. Army Reserve, Augusta, GA; Airman First Class Aaron Comstock, U.S. Air Force, Shaw AFB, Sumter, S.C.; E-5 She’nice Thompson, U.S. Army, 25th Sustainment Brigade, HHC 25th Special Troops Battalion, Wahiawa, Hawaii; and Major D. Slade Burke, U.S. Air Force, 48th Logistics Readiness Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom.

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