The United States government is headed for an imminent shutdown. The country’s Congress are unable to agree on major funding decision for the government.
Hardline Republicans in the House rejected a bill to temporarily fund the government, making a shutdown likely on Sunday. The rejected bill would have slashed spending and restricted immigration, but had little chance of going through the Democrats-controlled Senate. House Republicans are now without a clear strategy to avert a shutdown.
Here are key fact to know about the looming shutdown:
What is a government shutdown?
A government shutdown occurs when Congress fails to pass a continuing resolution (CR) or budget bill before the end of the fiscal year, which is September 30. This results in a lapse in appropriations, and most non-essential government services are suspended. Essential services, such as the military, law enforcement, and mail delivery, continue to operate.
Why is a shutdown imminent?
Congress has not yet passed a budget bill for fiscal year 2024. The House passed a CR on September 29, but the Senate is unlikely to pass it before the end of the fiscal year. This is because Republicans in the Senate are opposed to the spending levels in the CR.
What will happen if there is a shutdown?
If there is a shutdown, hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be furloughed or placed on unpaid leave. This will cause disruptions to a range of government services, including passport processing, national parks, and the Internal Revenue Service.
How long will a shutdown last?
The length of a shutdown is unpredictable. The longest shutdown in US history lasted for 35 days, from December 22, 2018, to January 25, 2019.
What can I do to prepare for a shutdown?
If you are a federal employee, you should contact your agency to find out what will happen to you if there is a shutdown. Have a financial plan in place in case you are furloughed or placed on unpaid leave.
The shutdown is expected to start on October 1, 2023, at 12:00 AM ET. It is expected to affect an estimated 800,000 federal workers.
According to analysts, the shutdown, if it happens , will cost the US economy an estimated $5 billion per week. It will also take a negative toll on a wide range of industries, including tourism, aviation, and construction.
The shutdown will make it more difficult for the US government to respond to crises, such as natural disasters among other emergencies.