The U.S Federal government this Saturday began a partial shutdown of its services following a lapse in funding required to keep the services up and running. The Senate tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a deal that would keep the government running, hence the shutdown of certain governments services.
The proposal that did not pull through would have funded the government until 16th February. It would have additionally lengthened the low-income children’s health insurance program (CHIP) for another six years while suspending some Obamacare taxes for two years. The bill that required 60 votes to be passed did not get them because of a dispute over immigration and border security. The Republicans want to fund for new border controls including the U.S-Mexico wall. The Democrats were furious over the bill as they want the CHIP programme to be extended permanently, not for six years. This led to a 50-49 vote that saw the bill turned down.
The government shutdown will impact hundreds of thousands of federal workers. The effects of the event are already in action. As of Saturday, most staff in departments of commerce, education, environment, and housing will be forced to stay home. Half of those working in defense, health, treasury, and transportation will as well not be reporting to work. However, the essential services that protect life and human property will remain such as disaster assistance, electricity generation, national security, air traffic control, and medical services.
The last government shutdown was in 2013. It lasted for 16 days. Many federal workers were furloughed (had to take a leave of absence) during the 16 days. Roughly 850000 employees were off work for each of those days. This resulted in the government losing $2bn in lost productivity, and that finally led to dire negative effects on the U.S. economy.
The Democrats continue to put the blame on the Republicans and President Trump for walking away from the negotiations. The Republicans too blame the Democrats for throwing away a chance to keep the government running. However, The Republican and Democratic leaders despite their on-going blame game say that they will continue to discuss the matter and come to a workable solution. At the moment, the federal working citizens of the United States are the ones left to face the dreadful consequences of the two parties’ misunderstanding. It is seemingly developing into a situation such as that of 2013’s government shutdown.