Government Shutdown; What Would That Mean for Americans?

As the Left and the Right debate, who are the real winners & losers?

shutdown Talk of a Government shutdown for the past four months may turn out to be more than just talk, and take place at midnight tonight. On Thursday, January 18, 2018, House Republicans passed a short-term spending bill to avert the shutdown, as reported by Roll Call. However, Democrats are not pleased with the measure. Furthering American uncertainty as the deadline approaches.

What is a Government Shutdown?

A shutdown takes place when US Government funding expires, and a new resolution is not passed. Some government-run agencies are required to shut down if Congress does not approve additional funding. The vast impact dramatically affects military members since they’ll have to work without pay. Additionally, over 800,000 federal workers would be placed on leave causing the closure of Smithsonian museums and several national parks. Other affected services include the processing of a gun permit, visa, and passport applications, according to CNN Politics.

Services Not Affected by the looming Shutdown

Despite the recent comment by President Trump, the military is not among the agencies put on furlough should Congres not pass a funding bill by tonight’s deadline. The US Postal Service will continue to deliver mail and services such as Medicare also remain unaffected. More importantly for anyone on Social Security, will receive their checks as usual. However, many have voiced their concerns regarding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides a low-cost health coverage option to children in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.

By law, Congress Members will continue to receive pay, despite the lack of a continuing resolution, so either way, their income is secure. Perhaps the only actual winners in this case.

President Trump blames Democrats

President Trump took to Twitter to encourage Democrats to support the spending resolution passed by House Republicans late last night. He tweeted, “now Democrats are needed if it is to pass in the Senate – but they want illegal immigration and weak borders.” Alluding to the upcoming elections, the president also tweeted, “We need more Republican victories in 2018!” However, Democrats don’t want to support the plan because it does not include authorization of a program to block the deportation of illegal immigrants brought to the US by their parents. Others point out the fact, that the bill only funds the government through Feb. 16, and the same issues will again be debated unless they are dealt with now.

According to a report by USA TODAY, the President may cancel his plans to travel to Florida since a shutdown seems likely. The trip to Mar-a-Largo estate in Palm Beach, FL was also to include a fundraising dinner celebrating his one year anniversary in office, on Saturday.

The real winners and losers of the possible government shutdown is a matter of opinion. However, in the event of a lengthy shutdown, Americans could run into other problems. The challenges include getting up-to-date information from government websites. Furthermore, energy assistance programs designed to help low-income families pay for heating costs during cold weather could also run out of money, according to Consumer Reports.

By Jireh Gibson

Sources:

USA TODAY: Trump blames Democrats for possible government shutdown
CNN politics:  House votes to avert government shutdown, path in Senate unclear
Roll Call: With Shutdown Looming, Trump Doubts Dems Will Keep Lights On
Consumer Reports: How a Government Shutdown Could Affect You

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