"When you come to closure, things start to deteriorate fairly quickly after a few weeks," said Sam Berger, a former senior Obama administration official who helped manage the government's closure in 2013 to the office. management and budget. "The big programs are starting to run out of money. Things that people depend on for money. "
For these reasons, it is virtually inconceivable that large parts of the federal government will remain closed for longer – even when both parties have stubbornly stubbornly resisted them now. "In February, nobody will have the political will," predicted Berger. "I do not think it's going to be sustainable in the long run because the impacts are just growing and growing and growing." He said that during the 16-day stalemate on the Care Act affordable in 2013, "we had never anticipated a stop of several months, because we have examined what will happen. "
The chances of this horrific parade being realized remain relatively weak. As Berger has suggested, the growing political pressure will probably cause the alienation of one or the other before the worst happens. Senate Republicans have begun to hesitate in the face of Trump 's insistence on the financing of a border wall, and a national emergency presidential statement to erect the fence without the approval of the government. Congress could tilt the fight against the courts and allow the government to reopen.
Meanwhile, some of the recent measures taken by the Trump government indicate that it would try to mitigate the most painful consequences of the closure, efforts that could protect some Americans from its impact, but could go beyond restrictions imposed by the Antideficiency Act, which prohibits the executive from spending funds. without congressional credits. Earlier this week, the administration announced that it would tap visitor fees to keep many national parks open and at least partially staffed, following widespread images of overflowing bins on the National Mall and other iconic places. The Internal Revenue Service said it would remind employees on leave to process tax refunds that would otherwise have been delayed. And although funding for food coupons was to be exhausted by the end of January, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the department had found a way to cover the program until the end of February.
"We are trying to mitigate the impact of the closure on ordinary Americans instead of the other way around, which I have seen in the past," Vice President Mike Pence told reporters on Monday. "And we will continue to do so in a manner consistent with the law."
What is the room for maneuver of the administration? Quite a few, said Chris Lu, former under secretary of labor at the Obama administration, who is now a senior fellow at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. It is generally accepted that the government has considerable room for maneuver to define the essential services to be maintained for the health and safety of the public. And paradoxically, this threshold could lead to a greater reopening of the government, even if the closure continues. Lu gave the example of food safety inspections carried out regularly. If they are stopped for a week or two, the impact will be minimal. But if they are arrested for more than a month, the administration could determine that this in itself constitutes a threat to public health, which will encourage them to restart even if Congress does not act.