What is a Government Shutdown?
What is a government shutdown?
A government shutdown occurs when Congress fails to pass a budget bill on time, resulting in a lapse in funding for most non-essential government operations. This means that many government agencies are forced to close or operate with a reduced staff, and many federal employees are furloughed (placed on temporary unpaid leave).
History of government shutdowns
The first government shutdown occurred in 1976, and there have been 22 shutdowns since then. The longest shutdown lasted 35 days, from December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019.
Direct impact of government shutdowns on people and businesses
Government shutdowns can have a significant impact on people and businesses. For example, during the 2018-2019 shutdown, many national parks were closed, passport processing was delayed, and small business loans were unavailable. Additionally, furloughed federal employees lost income, which could have a negative impact on the economy.
Present threat of a government shutdown
The current budget bill expires on September 30, 2023. If Congress does not pass a new budget bill by then, the government will shut down.
Predictions on how the current government shutdown threat will turn out
It is difficult to predict whether or not there will be a government shutdown on October 1, 2023. However, both Democrats and Republicans have expressed a desire to avoid a shutdown. It is possible that Congress will reach a last-minute agreement on a budget bill, but it is also possible that there will be a shutdown.
If there is a government shutdown, it is likely to be short-lived. In the past, Congress has usually been able to reach an agreement on a budget bill within a few weeks of a shutdown. However, even a short shutdown can have a negative impact on people and businesses.
How to prepare for a government shutdown
If you are concerned about the possibility of a government shutdown, there are a few things you can do to prepare:
- Make sure you have enough savings to cover your expenses for at least a few weeks.
- If you are a federal employee, develop a plan for how you will manage your finances if you are furloughed.
- If you own a business, develop a contingency plan in case the government shuts down.
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