What Caused the USA Government Shutdown 2018, What Is Open and Closed – Everything You Need to Know So Far

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The US government remains partially shuttered Thursday, as negotiations remain frozen and lawmakers are still home for a holiday break.

Nexter.org answers the questions about what is shutdown, what caused it, what is closed-opened during this period and whether it is the first time in American history.

What is ‘shutdown’?

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In United States politics, a government shutdown occurs when Congress fails to pass, or the President refuses to sign, appropriations legislation funding federal government operations and agencies.

In this case, the current interpretation of the Antideficiency Act requires that the federal government begin a “shutdown” of the affected activities involving the furlough of non-essential personnel and curtailment of agency activities and services. Essential employees are still required to work without pay until the government reopens, including medical professionals in the Veterans Hospitals and TSA agents.

What caused a government shutdown in December?

The partial government shutdown began Friday night at midnight when Congress couldn’t agree on a spending plan that included $5 billion Trump requested for a wall on the nation’s southern border.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday vowed to stick to his guns on the government shutdown, telling reporters as he flew to Iraq for a surprise visit that he’ll do ‘whatever it takes’ to get money for his border wall.

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He declined to say how much he would accept in a deal with congressional Democrats to end the shutdown, now in its fifth day, stressing the need for border security.

‘You have to have a wall, you have to have protection,’ he said while on the ground at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq.

And when asked how long he would wait to get what he wants, he said, ‘Whatever it takes. We need a wall. We need safety for our country.’

What is closed?

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Source: The Balance

About 400,000 non-critical employees of nine agencies were sent home without pay.

State and local farm service centers. They will be closed, leaving no one to answer questions or assist farmers in signing up for programs under the Farm Bill recently approved by Congress.

National parks. Some may close, others may offer limited services. During a shutdown last January, gates at national parks remained open but few staff members were on hand. Buildings were shuttered, and sometimes that included restrooms.

Small business owners. More than 30 million small businesses will no longer have access to federally assisted loans and technical assistance since Small Business Administration guarantees to back loans will freeze.

Home buyers. Americans looking to buy a new home or refinance a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration will be put on standby.

Crime victims. Those who have been victimized in a crime won’t be able to receive money from the federal government amid the shutdown.

Food inspections. Some food safety inspections will also be delayed. The Food and Drug Administration in past government shutdowns had to delay some not non-essential inspections.

Public housing. Those with public housing could also be affected. The speed of some loans from the Federal Housing Administration was slowed along with payments to public housing agencies, according to Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif.

Violence against women. It’s not only services. Funding for the Violence Against Women Act stopped with government shutdown, according to Roll Call. The law, considered a landmark bill in 1994, expired along with funding for other government agencies.

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Source: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

What won’t be affected by the shutdown?

Flights. Air-traffic controllers and security officers still will be on the job even though the shutdown has begun.

Amtrak. The trains are run by a government-owned corporation and also will operate as usual.

The border. Customs and border agents will continue working at border crossings and ports of entry.

Social Security checks. Social Security benefits still go out.

Medicare. Like Social Security, benefits will still be provided.

Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program and Women, Infants and Children. Benefits available for at least as long as some carryover money in the states or the federal accounts are available.

Smithsonian museums and zoo. They will be open every day except Christmas.

NORAD’S Santa Tracker. The beloved Christmas Eve tracker will still follow St. Nickaround the world.

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Source: PA

How many times has the government shut down?

Since Congress introduced the modern budget process in 1976, there have been 19 “funding gaps,” including the one in January 2018, where funds were not appropriated for at least one day. However, before 1980, the government did not shut down but rather continued normal operations through six funding gaps.

Since 1981, ten funding gaps of three days or less occurred, mostly over a weekend when government operations were only minimally affected.

There have been three “true” shutdowns where operations were affected for more than three days. The first two happened in the winter of 1995-1996, when President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress were unable to agree on spending levels and shut down the government twice, for a total of 26 days.

The third was in 2013 when the House and Senate standoff on funding resulted in a 16-day shutdown.


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What Caused the USA Government Shutdown 2018, What Is Open and Closed - Everything You Need to Know So Far
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What Caused the USA Government Shutdown 2018, What Is Open and Closed - Everything You Need to Know So Far
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The US government remains partially shuttered Thursday, as negotiations remain frozen and lawmakers are still home for a holiday break. Nexter.org answers the questions about what is shutdown, what caused it, what is closed-opened during this period and whether it is the first time in American history.
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