What happens during a government shutdown


How long does a government shutdown last?
As long as it takes. Congressional leaders from both parties have to reach an agreement to fund the government.

It usually takes a weekend for this to happen.

The federal government would be forced to shut down “non-essential services.” Who would be affected?
Essential staff at top level agencies would continue working, but most federal employees whose jobs aren’t vital would likely be sent home.

For example, those who work at national parks, monuments and museums would be told to go home.

In the 2013 shutdown, roughly 850,000 employees were furloughed per day, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

But not everyone is required to take unpaid leave.

The president, presidential appointees and members of Congress are exempt. The Postal Service, the TSA and Air Traffic Control will also continue business as usual.

Americans will still be able to get their Social Security and Medicare benefits and food stamps. However, people expecting VA benefits, unemployment benefits, farm subsidies and tax refunds may experience delays.

Do federal employees still get paid?
Most likely. The problem: They’re not sure when they’ll get their money. Some federal employees are currently working for no pay such as TSA, Homeland Security, NOAA, and NWS. 

Federal employees typically receive back pay shortly upon their return. Every agency has their own contingency plan in the event of a shutdown.

How many times has the government shut down?
The government has shut down 20 times since 1976, the year Congress introduced the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s research. Half of the shutdowns occurred over a weekend.

How much money can the country lose during a shutdown?
The 16-day government shutdown in 2013 cost the country $24 billion of lost economic activity, according to an analysis from ratings agency Standard & Poor’s.

“The payroll cost of furloughed employee salaries alone – that is, the lost productivity of furloughed workers – was $2.0 billion,” the Office of Management and Budget reported in 2013.

Source: Fox News


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