As Congress moves closer to the possibility of a government shutdown, it’s important to be aware of what’s at stake and what political players are involved. The “Speaker’s Lobby,” or the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to a Possible Government Shutdown,” is a great place to start.
The Speaker’s Lobby is a makeshift gathering place just off the House floor for Democrats and Republicans alike to negotiate and strategize amid divided government. It’s become a forum for the two parties to come together and possible compromises.
President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, both of whom will have final say on deciding whether or not the government will shut down, are both active participants in the Speaker’s Lobby. Trump and Pelosi can be found in the halls of Congress, sometimes staying past 9 pm as they try and secure a deal. Each offers up potential solutions, listen to each others grievances, and disagree on how best to proceed.
Senator Chuck Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are also involved in the Speaker’s Lobby. Schumer in particular is a key player, as he’s seen as the decisive swinger in terms of making or breaking a future government shutdown. As the highest ranking Senate Democrat, he ultimately has the deciding voice on whether a deal is reached or not.
Ultimately, the Speaker’s Lobby can help determine the fate of the country. Politicians must approach each other with an open mind and understanding if they want to secure a deal and avoid more than just a government shutdown. This “Hitchhiker’s Guide” can help anyone looking to make sense of the complex negotiations and potential outcomes of a diplomatic impasse.