What is the Federal Government Shutdown?

A federal government shutdown, technically known as a “funding gap”, is when all non-essential departments of the US government are closed, and their budget has not been approved. When this occurs, federal employees are sent home or furloughed, and programs, services and activities that rely on the money received from funding stop operating.

The last time a federal government shutdown occurred was in December 2018 when President Trump and Congress could not agree on a budget that included money to fund a long-anticipated wall along the US-Mexico border. This was the longest shutdown in US history, lasting a total of 35 days.

Most recently, several federal departments closed in July 2020 due to legal disputes surrounding the coronavirus stimulus package. After several rounds of negotiations, a last-minute agreement was made and the shutdown was lifted.

The Effect of Government Shutdowns

When the government shuts down, it can have a wide range of impacts on both the social and economic climate of the country. This can include citizens not receiving government services, delayed tax refunds and payments for companies and individuals, as well as a decrease in consumer spending, as well as job losses.

Government Shutdown and the Senate

The US Senate is responsible for ensuring that federal funds are appropriately allocated, so when there is a government shutdown, it can cause a significant amount of disruption within the Senate.

The Senate has the power to pass legislation, or bills, which is then sent to the House of Representatives for approval. Once the House makes it changes to the bill, it is then sent back to the Senate. If there is a government shutdown, this process takes much longer, resulting in a slower pace of discussions and negotiations.

The Role of the Senate

When it comes to the federal government shutdown, the Senate has a very important role to play. They are responsible for passing budgets and bills, in order to provide funds to federal departments, and the expiration of the current budget can cause a government shutdown.

The Senate also decides who to hold responsible for a shutdown, either the President or Congress. In 2018, the Senate passed two bills to fund government operations, however, the President refused to sign off on either of them, resulting in the shutdown.

Who is Affected by Government Shutdown

If a government shutdown does occur, there are several groups of people who may be affected by it. This could include hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors, as well as those who rely on federal programs. These include people who receive Social Security payments, those claiming unemployment, small businesses that take out federal loans, and those relying on food stamps or aid from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

When a government shutdown occurs, many services are temporarily suspended, impacting those who are reliant on them. This can have a major impact on their lives.

The Federal Government Shutdown has become a common occurrence over the past few years, due to disputes between the President and Congress. In order to prevent this, Congress and the President need to work together to enact a comprehensive budget in a timely manner. The Senate plays an important role in this, as they are responsible for passing the budgets and bills. If a government shutdown does occur, it can have a major impact on the lives of citizens and employees.