What do you mean the government “shutdown” ?

So the government shutdown. What exactly does that mean? Why did it happen? Is it going to affect me? These are the questions many are asking, and with good reason.

The United States Government shutdown for the first time since 1995. The last shutdown occurred in 1995-96 following former President Clinton’s funding for Medicare. The last shutdown had lasted 27 days; let’s hope this one doesn’t take that long. If like me you have no recollection of the last shutdown, then this one may teach us something.

So how did this shutdown come about?  According to the Washington Post “the House and Senate are supposed to agree on 12 appropriations bills to fund the federal agencies and set spending priorities. Congress has become really bad at passing these bills, so in recent years they’ve resorted to stopgap budgets to keep the government funded  The last stopgap passed on March 28, 2013, and ends on Sept. 30.” Since House Republicans and Senate Democrats couldn’t agree on a spending bill for the new fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1 the federal government has indeed shut itself down.

So what does this shutdown mean for most of us? Well for many the government shutting down has not much of an impact. In fact if they don’t look at the news they wouldn’t even know. But for the rest there may be unwanted consequences that occur from it.  Many government functions will shut down but not all. According to Brad Plumer from the Washington Post “There are a whole bunch of key government functions that carry on during a shutdown, including anything related to national security, public safety, or programs written into permanent law (like Social Security).”  The shutdown could also have negative effects on the economy as well.

This back and forth quarrel between the House and Senate just seems so ridiculous. I mean do they not think about how this is affecting the rest of the country? So many things are put on hold. Federal employees have been laid off, National Parks have been closed, funding for many federal run programs have stopped. “They” need to come back and face reality. Progress is not going to be made that way.

The two sides are so far apart from each other in terms of what they want, so it seems that none is willing to give in. Americans are also divided on this issue it seems. According to a poll done by CBS News Republicans in Congress receive more of the blame for the shutdown: 44 percent of Americans blame them, while 35 percent put more blame on President Obama and the Democrats in Congress.

Compromise is key. If no one is willing to compromise then no one is going to get anywhere. Everbody just wants to strongly hold on to what they want but neither wants to let anything go. Being stubborn and wanting it your way isn’t going to solve the problem. And neither is playing the blame game.

I think that both Congress and Senate need to set aside their differences and really look at what decisions needed to be made for the bettering of the country. I have not a clue as to how long this shutdown will last, or what kind of resolution there will be, I just know that there needs to be one.

They are just postponing the inevitable. One side will eventually have to give up, it’s just a matter of who and when.


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