A federal government shutdown is looming as Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has been unable to comply with the demands of a few conservative members of his caucus who have vowed for months to shut the government down.
As the Sept. 30 deadline looms, Gov. Sarah Sanders sent a memo out to agencies Thursday (Sept. 28) outlining steps the state will have to take to deal with the lack of federal workers and services.
Sanders criticized President Joe Biden for the potential shutdown, although the White House, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have already cobbled together a plan that’s being held up by a small minority of Republicans in the U.S. House.
“Should the Biden administration allow a shutdown to occur, cabinet secretaries will be responsible for determining which programs must be suspended and which employees will be furloughed based on the following criteria,” Sanders said.
Her memo included:
“If a program or employee has been identified by the federal government as being necessary to protect public health, safety, or welfare, and the federal government has provided documentation guaranteeing funding during the shutdown, the program and federally funded employment may continue uninterrupted by the shutdown.”
“If an agency has sufficient federal funding and authorization from current or previous federal grants to fund a program or position, it may do so as long as funding remains available.”
“Otherwise, programs and employment that are wholly or partially dependent on federal funding will be suspended because of the White House’s failure to work with Congress, effective Sunday, October 1st for the duration of the shutdown. The federal government will not allow us to make any exceptions unless the protection of public health, safety, and welfare would be compromised, as determined by the cabinet secretary in consultation with the Department of Finance and Administration and the Department of Transformation and Shared Services.”
U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, House Minority Leader, said the shutdown will be the fault of a small group of Trump-supporting lawmakers.
“And the interesting thing is that House Democrats are aligned with Senate Democrats, and we’re both aligned with Senate Republicans and all of us, with the exception of the extreme MAGA Republicans, are aligned with President Joe Biden and the administration in terms of keeping the government open so we can meet the needs of the American people. But we need the extreme MAGA Republicans to get their act together in the civil war that’s happening on the Republican side of the aisle that’s paralyzing Congress. Get your act together so we can handle the business of the American people and solve problems on their behalf,” Jeffries said in a statement.
Also today, Sanders released $4 million from the Governor’s Disaster Response and Recovery Fund to support disaster recovery efforts from the March 31st tornadoes. The money will be used at the discretion of the Director of the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management to defray both program and administrative costs, the governor said.