Americans can rest easy tonight knowing our elected officials have once again performed their duties admirably and passed a bill to fund the federal government for one more week. The bill was passed by voice vote on Friday after several senators dropped their opposition.
In the meantime, a family of four in Benton Harbor, Michigan failed to pass its own stopgap funding measure after disagreements over how to spend their dwindling savings could not be resolved. The stand-off centered on whether to spend their remaining money on rent, food, or Christmas gifts.
The world’s most deliberative body, on the other hand, crafted a masterful piece of legislation that relies exclusively on contributions of ordinary Americans to keep the federal government in business for one more week. Many worried the senators would be unable to cobble a bill together by midnight, forcing a dreaded government shutdown. But, hey, it’s Friday and the senators wanted to go home, so as if by magic their differences evaporated.
Meanwhile, the family in Benton Harbor attempted to make child care arrangements, as their schools, for which they pay taxes, are shut down for the entire month of December. Also at issue is the increased food costs due to the unavailability of school lunches. Additionally, the family is facing an increased tech budget brought about by virtual education. Efforts to secure alternative sources of funding for these programs, so far, have been unsuccessful.
Back in Washington, the senators, awash in a seemingly limitless supply of cash, vowed to reconvene next week to finally do something for the millions of Americans whose livelihoods have either been eliminated or put on hold by the government’s pandemic response. The senators indicated they’re starting to suspect the $1200 checks they authorized eight months ago are beginning to dry up.