In The News: Government Shutdown and Everything You Need to Know

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To seed out all the terrible jokes on Facebook and Instagram about folks who won’t be able to receive their welfare checks or people who just don’t know about the current situation so they leave obnoxious comments, may leave some of you confused about what’s going on in Washington right now.

I’m sorry one Parks and Recreation screenshot was needed! In their fictional town, the government was shut down for 3 months.

If you’re a little confused about this government shutdown, that’s fine! There’s more to this current situation than you see from your social media circle.

Here is a short breakdown of everything you need to know about this government shutdown:

On October 1st at midnight the House and the Senate couldn’t come to an agreement on bill that would fund the federal government. This comes right after the Republican dominated House had recently just voted against the current Affordable Health Care Act, with a 231-192 vote along party lines. This bill was supposed to allow the health care act to be delayed another year. However this bill died in the Senate.

On Monday President Obama came out and said that “no matter what Congress decides to do today. The Affordable Care Act is moving forward. That funding is already in place. You can’t shut it down.”

The problem is Congress basically can’t play nice. The reason why we’re getting our first government shutdown in 17 years is because Congress can’t agree on how to fund our government.  The lack of compromise is daunting, but not surprising.

This isn’t all about the Affordable Health Care Act, Congress needs to agree on 12 different bills to pass that would fund different parts of the federal government. So far they’ve had more stopgag budgets than bills passed. A stopgag is basically putting the bill on hold and dealing with it later. As you can tell this hasn’t been the best method.

So you’re question is, what’s actually being shutdown? The answer would be, let’s talk about what’s staying open.

The Military, air traffic control, emergency medical care, border patrol, federal prisons, most law enforcement, emergency and disaster assistance, overseeing the banking system, operating the power grid, and guarding federal property are some of the many “essential to the protection of life and property of the nation” that will still be open.

Financial benefits like Social Security and veteran benefits will still be put into effect. While unemployment and food stamps will still continue for the time being. However depending on how long the government shutdown lasts, these benefits could soon stop.

The postal service and the federal reserve will still be operating, as well as all agencies of independent U.S funding.

Now you’re thinking, ok so what’s actually being shutdown then?

The list is fairly long. Here are some of the agencies that will be included in the shutdown:

All of the national parks and museums will be closed, including the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Yosemite National Park in California.

Women, Infants and Children program, also known as WIC will be cut off, which allows pregnant and new mothers to buy food for their children. A service that reaches almost 9 million Americans, it is estimated that most States have enough funds to keep the program afloat with federal government assistance until the end of the month.

The Justice Department will suspend many civil cases for as long as the government is shut down. However the FBI and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will stay open.

Here’s a complete list of all the government agencies that are closed and open: http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2013/09/politics/government-shutdown-impact/

and

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/contingency-plans

Now that you have an idea of what this shutdown means, who does this effect?

Well currently about 800,000 federal workers will be send home because of this shutdown. This leaves about “1.3 million “essential ” federal workers, 1.4 million active-duty military members, 500,000 Postal Service workers, and other employees in independently-funded agencies who will continue working”, according to the Washington Post.

For a breakdown of the different agencies what impacts this shutdown will bring. Check out this detailed list by the Washington Post.

What about all the” non-essential” workers? Will they get paid?

This is still unclear. This really all depends on Congress.

How will this effect our economy?

Well considering stocks went up yesterday, you would think our economy isn’t doing too bad even while our government is crumbling.

It’s reported that the local economy for D.C is expected to lose almost $200 million everyday the shutdown occurs.

Going by my research, it’s all still pretty unclear what exactly will happen. It all depends on many factors, ones we may not know for a few days or maybe even in a few weeks. The best we can hope for is for Congress to finally come together to create a way to basically fund the government and then get back to work.

Now that you have a little bit more information on the government shutdown, please go out and read more! My little write up on scratches the surface.

Most of my important came from this super helpful Washington Post Breakdown. For more details check it out here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/30/absolutely-everything-you-need-to-know-about-how-the-government-shutdown-will-work/

Ok one more joke and a reference to another show to be obsessed over with. Seriously go watch House of Cards!

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1 comment
  1. How this crisis can (maybe) now work out in the GOP’s favour…

    Okay so all except the most one-eyed conservative has to admit the reality that the GOP will be blamed by voters for the budget / gov’t shut down crisis. But an interesting thing may very well happen on the way to next month’s circus.

    The debt ceiling D-Day is just around the corner. In fact it’s so close that it now seems VERY probable that the budget / shut down crisis will not be resolved by mid Oct and THEN an interesting thing may happen – the budget / shut down / Obama-care crisis and the debt ceiling crisis will combine into one ENORMOUS crisis that revolves around both issues.

    This could be VERY interesting. Mainly because just as the public supports the Dems on the budget / shut down issue, they broadly support the GOP on the debt ceiling issue. So if the two fights turn into one BIG fight, who will the public end up supporting?

    It could be a hail-mary / gift from God situation that saves the GOP.

    Boehner has made it clear that he wanted to avoid the shut down confrontation in order to save his ammo for the debt ceiling crisis. And he may kinda sorta get what he wants now. The conservative wing of the GOP (I think that may be me) may then get what they really want – the opportunity to force changes to the ACA set-up with the FULL BACKING of the US electorate. Because the political conversation / vicious trench war will be about balancing our national kitty, we can make changes to Obama-care by making the simple argument that the US simply can’t afford the ACA. Because it is a financial reality and not an ideologically based argument, independent voters are much more likely to respond to it.

    With a bit of luck our gleefully anticipated thumping at the polls in the mid-term elections will then remain a Democrat pipe-dream and the ACA will be amended as we’d like.

    Maybe.

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