Explainer: Why Is The US Likely To Have Another Government Shutdown?
The US Congress appears to be on track to trigger a government shutdown as it’s not expected to pass the 12 appropriation bills that fund government operations before the start of the new fiscal year on October 1, 2023. Millions of Americans could be impacted.
A government shutdown would impact the country’s largest food assistance programmes, food safety inspections, national parks, federally funded preschool and federal college grants and loans. Here’s the latest news on where things stand with the possible shutdown.
Why Do Government Shutdowns Happen?
Shutdowns can be disruptive, leading to various inconveniences. They are likely when both chambers in Congress – the House and Senate – fail to come to an agreement on how much money to allocate to certain agencies or agree on certain spending provisions.
Under the Antideficiency Act, federal agencies cannot spend or obligate any money without an appropriation from Congress. When Congress fails to enact the dozen annual appropriation bills, federal agencies must pause all non-essential functions until lawmakers act.
The aforementioned situation is called a government shutdown. However, when Congress enacts some but not all of the 12 appropriation bills, it’s called a partial shutdown where only agencies without appropriations have to shut down.
During shutdowns, many federal employees are told not to report for work. But they get paid retroactively when the disruptive situation ends. Government employees who provide services deemed essential continue to work but don’t get paid until lawmakers take action.
Nonetheless, all these conditions apply only to the roughly 25% of federal spending susceptible to annual appropriation by Congress. Shutdowns can lead to delays in processing applications for passports, small business loans or government benefits, among other inconveniences.
What Is The Deadline For The Government Shutdown?
If lawmakers fail to pass a continuing resolution or a federal budget by September 30, the US government will shut down on October 1. The continuing resolution is a stopgap measure to temporarily fund the government while lawmakers work to pass a comprehensive budget.
According to Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the House will vote Friday on a continuing resolution to prevent a shutdown from occurring at 12:01 am Sunday. But it remains unclear if it has enough votes to pass. Keep an eye out on The World Reviews for more updates.