Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
A view of the US Capitol Building on Capitol Hill April 6, 2011 in Washington, DC.
With a federal government shutdown looming and no clear plan in sight to avoid it, House Republicans have proposed another short-term stopgap measure cutting $12 billion, a number six times higher than their last offer. Democrats have thus viewed the bill as dead on arrival, and claim it is merely a means to shift blame on a shutdown, if it happens, to the Obama White House. If no agreement is made between the two parties, then potentially 800,000 government officials and thousands of members of the military in Iraq and Afghanistan would not get paid. Is this political posturing getting out of hand? Must top politicians remain steadfast to achieve the budget necessary for the country? If a shutdown occurs, how will it play out? How can it possibly be avoided?
Lisa Lerer, Bloomberg News reporter based in Washington, DC
Bob Stern, President of the Center for Governmental Studies
Congressman Tom McClintock, R-CA’s 4th District; member of the Budget Committee
Congressman Adam Schiff, D-CA’s 29th District