Explained: What is the US govt shutdown?

Oct 01 2013, 10:42 IST
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Barack Obama Barack Obama
SummaryIt is a political situation in which government stops providing for all but 'essential' services.

It is a political situation in which government stops providing for all but 'essential' services. Unless Congress raises federal borrowing cap, government will shut down on Oct 1 as it will run out of money to pay bills

Why will government stop funding services?

The US budget year ends on September 30. The House of Representatives and Senate are considering bills to fund government past the deadline. But Republicans want to cut off funding for President Obama’s health care law as a condition of passing the spending measure.

How is Obamacare tied to funding government?

The health care law isn’t directly tied to funding the government, but it’s being used as a bargaining chip. A group of Republicans despises the president’s signature health care plan so much that it’s willing to risk government shutdown.

How will it affect citizens?

About one-third of the government will shut down. About 800,000 of about 2.1 million federal employees will be sent home without pay. The Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and other agencies will close most operations. The military and other agencies involving safety and security would continue to function.

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What if Congress can’t agree to raise cap in time?

It could be disastrous. The government may be forced to immediately slash spending by 32 %. It could miss interest payments on Treasurys, triggering a first-ever default by the US government.

Who are affected

Smithsonian institutions

19 museums/galleries and National Zoo

National Parks

inc. Statue of Liberty, Yosemite and Alcatraz

Staff affected

Defence 40,000

Commerce 30,000

Energy 12,700

Transport 18,481

Exceptions

* Air traffic control

* National security

* Nuclear weapons and power

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