Taking a Look at Government Shutdowns

1427 WordsFeb 18, 20186 Pages
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 September 30) and it would end immediately after the president signs a spending bill. Most government shutdowns last no more than three days. Some last less than a day but the longest was 21 days, from December 16, 1995, through January 5, 1996. From 1976 to present, there have been 17 shutdowns according to the Congressional Research Service. However, there are no recorded shutdowns before 1976. In a government shutdown, only “non-essential” functions of the federal government close down, while all “essential” functions of the government remain operating. Generally, all government functions that ensure safety and protect property remain open and in operation

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