As the Government Nears a Shut Down, Here Is What You Need to Know

January 18, 2018Jan 18, 2018

Over the last week, news has been circulating regarding a government shutdown. Based on the current challenge among Congress to agree on a budget, specifically regarding the DACA program, reports claim that the government will most likely shut down. 

According to CNBC, a vote regarding a temporary extension of the funding for government operations is set to take place on Thursday afternoon. Congress is operating in its third temporary extension since the fiscal year began in October. Because of the lack of agreement on what the funding should look like, everything may come to halt.

On Thursday, Fox News interviewed Marc Goldwein, a director of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, to ask about the details of a government shutdown. Below is some of the information that is important to know.

Why Does It Happen?

As stated above, the shutdown would occur when there is a failure to agree upon a budget. More specifically, when Congress as a whole and the president do not sign into law the 12 appropriation bills in a timely matter, the funding of government operations comes to a standstill. 

Can You Stop It?

Congress is able to go into a temporary extension, something that has already happened two official times in the fiscal year. They are now in their third extension period. According to Goldwein, the temporary funding allows government agencies to operate as normal. He said that if Congress can continue operating in this continuing resolution (CR) period, that would be preferred over a shutdown. 

How Long Will It Last?

There is not a set amount of time that a government shutdown will last. Typically, it takes a weekend, but it is possible for it to last for several days or weeks. 

What Actually Shuts Down?

Employees who are considered "non-essential" will be sent home. Those typically affected are those that work at national parks, monuments, and museums. Employees at top agencies will continue to operate, such as the Postal Service, TSA, and Air Traffic Control. According to the Office of Management and Budget, in 2013 850,000 employees were "furloughed per day" during the shutdown. Additionally, Americans with VA benefits, unemployment benefits, tax refunds, and farm subsidies may experience delays in their benefits. The employees will still most likely get paid, but those checks may be delayed.

Are Shutdowns Common?

Since 1976, the government has shut down 18 times. Reportedly, around half of those took place over a weekend. 

How Much Money Will This Cost the Country?

According to Standard & Poor's analysis, the 16-day shutdown in 2013 cost $24 billion of lost economic activity. However, Goldwein noted that the shutdowns do not technically cost the country more money, but rather it causes the country to waste more money. 

We will continue to update here as more information is released after today's Congress meeting. What do you think about this? Let us know your thoughts! In other recent news, some sickening details have emerged about the 13 siblings who were held captive.

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