A government shutdown can be a scary and traumatic event, but how worried should America really be? What causes a shutdown to happen? Under the Constitution, Congress must pass laws to spend money. If Congress cannot agree on a spending bill –or the president vetoes it- the government does not have the legal authority to spend money. Therefore, the House and Senate must agree on a law to pass one. If they cannot agree, they will briefly shutdown the government until they come to resolution.
Any shutdown would begin when the fiscal year ends (12 month period, starting October 1 and ending ...view middle of the document...
introduced. There are somewhere around approximately 240 million people of voting age in the United States . Shutdowns are likely to happen when you try to get so many people — who live in different places, make their livings in different ways, and have different goals in life— to agree on what the Federal Government should do. On October 1, 2013, Congress and Obama missed their deadline after being unable to resolve their stand-off over Obamacare. According to Obama, “Republicans in the House of Representatives refused to fund the government unless we defunded or dismantled the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). They’ve shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans.²” Senate Democrats refused to consider any changes to Obamacare as part of the budget bill. After a sixteen day battle, the House and Senate pass a short-term bill increasing the “debt ceiling”, or the amount of money they can spend. Immediately after the President signed the bill, the government opened its doors, and federal employees return to work.
How did the citizens react to this two week shutdown? During shutdown, ordinary citizens across the U.S stepped up to fill the gap and help their fellow Americans. In Washington D.C. a man named Chris Cox gathered up his lawnmower and other supplies and began to clean up the memorials there. Inspired by Cox, hundreds of citizens from across the U.S descended to Washington to help with the clean-up efforts. In North Carolina ,
the Food Lion grocery chain stepped up when the state ran out of funds for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and offered $500,000 to help families who rely on the WIC program. A Phoenix based food bank gave aid to workers affected by the Grand Canyon closure, and New York State stepped up to fund the Statue of Liberty and kept it open for tourists¹. When the government fails to fund important programs that families rely on, or federal jobs close, citizens step up and help these families who depend on them.
Prior to 2013, it had been seventeen years since the last government shutdown. During that time, conflicts between the Democratic President, Bill Clinton, and Republican Congress dispute over funding Medicare, education, the environment, and public health in the 1996 federal budget. The government shut down after Clinton vetoed the spending bill that the Republican Party-controlled Congress sent him.
The government shutdown took place in two phases. The first lasted five days in ...