Javier Salazar" />
side bar
Sunday, October 1, 2023


Five things to know about the government shutdown

The last government shut down was from Dec. 16, 1995 to Jan. 6, 1996 and lasted 28 days.  |  Wikimedia Commons/The Daily Cougar

The last government shutdown was from Dec. 16, 1995 to Jan. 6, 1996 and lasted 28 days. | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

1. What a government shutdown entails

The formal definition of a government shutdown is the closure of non-essential offices of the government due to lack of approval on the government programs’ budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Currently, Congress is unable to agree on certain aspects of the annual budget, legally requiring that the national government temporarily terminate programs, organizations, departments and any other entity not fulfilling a so-called “essential” role.

The U.S. federal government entered a government shutdown Oct. 1, 2013, the first day of the 2014 federal fiscal year.

2. What constitutes an essential role

In general, jobs dealing with national security, foreign policy and safety of property will be left alone. Other entities left unscathed are self-funded agencies such as the U.S. Postal Service. Finally, anything written into permanent law or budgets previously approved, such as Social Security and food stamps, will remain. Because the salaries of Congress’ members are written into permanent law until their term ends, they still receive compensation.

3. The loss of non-essential federal jobs

Roughly 800,000 federal workers have now been furloughed. A furlough is when employees are ordered to take a mandatory, unpaid leave of absence. This single layoff spawns issues ranging in severity from more than 400 national parks and museums closing to food inspection and environmental safety operations shutting down. These workers may or may not receive compensation, and some of the remaining 1.3 million essential workers may work unpaid until the government is fully open.

4. The shutdown is affecting college students

Due to the Department of Education’s furlough, financial aid already rewarded is safe and sound. However, prolonged delay may incur long-term issues regarding grants. Loans or pending financial aid may be interrupted, deferred or outright canceled.

Aside from financial disruptions, numerous government websites are now shut down or are no longer up to date.

5. Congress allowed the shutdown to happen

The reason Congress is still unable to agree on the national budget is dissent from the Republican Party concerning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. In particular, the division is based on disagreements concerning when the PPACA will be actively put into motion and funding. Some headlines are reporting that the government may default on its loans, but Forbes states this is highly unlikely. The government’s full services will resume when Congress finalizes this issue.

[email protected]

One Response to Five things to know about the government shutdown

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑
  • Sign up for our Email Edition

  • Polls

    What about UH will you miss the least this summer?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...