Congress seems unable to come to a unanimous decision regarding budgeting and so many strongly believed that this will be the first shut down in almost 2 decades and they predicted correctly. The last shutdown was in 1995-1996 during Bill Clinton’s presidency.
Why does a government shutdown occur?
According to the United States constitution, Congress is tasked with assigning government spending budgets. In some cases, such as the one currently being faced, a decision cannot be reached and thus government spending must be temporarily halted.
The current battle between the Democrats and the Republicans is centered on ‘Obamacare’. The Democratic Senate believes that the Affordable Care Act receive full funding while the Republican Congress did not include it in the spending bill.
Why is it happening now?
The United States government’s fiscal year begins on the 1st of October.
What happens during a government shutdown?
Non-essential government employees will be furloughed, meaning they will be on temporary unpaid leave. This means that all employees who run day to day operations will be temporarily out of work and it is not a frequent practice to reimburse these employees.
The only staff who will be working are those who are deemed necessary to ensure the safety of public health and property. Additionally, employees such as the police will be working.
Will the shutdown affect the economy?
Yes, most likely in a negative way. Experts estimate that a shutdown that is only three days may slow economic growth if not harming it completely.
Also, it is not likely that it will be saving money. The previous shutdown ran an estimated bill of $1.4 billion.
How long does it last?
Government shutdowns have previously not lasted very long. The longest was the shutdown in ’95 which lasted 21 days. The shortest government shutdown lasted less than one day. On average it lasts roughly three days. The shutdown will end when the current president signs the spending bill.
What will close down during the shutdown?
National Parks will be closed down and all those camping will be forced to exit the premises. In addition, many public places will be closed such as museums and zoos.
Many government institutions such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Internal Revenue Service will be understaffed due to the fact that many employees are viewed as non-essential personnel.