What Happens If the Federal Government Shuts Down?

by on September 22, 2023 · 10 comments

in Economy, Military, San Diego

If Congress does not resolve the impasse by Sept. 30, federal appropriations will expire, bringing many agencies to a halt and forcing the sprawling U.S. government to operate at a mere shell of itself.

Here are the most immediate effects of a federal government shut down — which may happen in only 8 days:

  • Millions of federal employees will stop receiving paychecks — but many will be forced to report to work anyway.
  • Millions of active military service members will stop receiving paychecks — but many will be forced to report to work anyway.
  • Some national parks may close, museums could shutter
  • airports nationwide might see new disruptions and delays.
  • Federal aid programs including those assisting the victims of the deadly wildfires in Maui — could struggle to provide urgently needed support.
  • mail deliveries would continue and
  • seniors would still receive their Social Security checks, because they are not funded through annual appropriations.
  • older Americans might not be able to obtain new Medicare cards or address some other issues with their benefits until federal funding resumes.
  • Some federal inspections that ensure food safety and prevent the release of hazardous chemicals in drinking water would be halted,
  • Federal research toward cancer cures and other innovative therapies would cease.
  • Some passport offices would close if they are located in affected government buildings, potentially snarling some Americans’ plans for international travel.
  • Washington would further deplete federal safety-net programs that carry over their unused money from past years.
  • Eventually, the government may not be able to provide some poor families with child care, nutrition assistance, housing vouchers or college financial aid.

Background from Washington Post:

In only eight days, the U.S. government is set to shut down, unleashing real and wide-ranging financial hardship on American families, workers and businesses. The lapse in funding would mark a fundamental breakdown in an ever-divided, intransigent Washington, where Republicans’ demands this year have prevented Congress — time and again — from easily fulfilling its most basic fiscal responsibilities.

In an ominous sign, the Biden administration on Friday took the first steps to prepare government agencies for a potential stoppage, according to a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private discussions. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget told federal leaders to update their intricate blueprints for how they would operate if funds run dry, while it readied a draft communication that they could use to notify employees about the situation.

House Republicans for the second week in a row failed to move forward on any legislation related to funding the government, further complicating efforts to avert a government shutdown ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline.

At the heart of the stalemate are renewed Republican calls for deep federal spending cuts, more than three months after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) finalized a deal with President Biden that was supposed to prevent this very brinkmanship. Far-right lawmakers have blocked the House this week from adopting a short-term measure that would sustain federal spending at its existing levels and buy more time for the two parties to work out a longer-term arrangement.

The longer a shutdown persists, the greater the blow it could ultimately deliver to an economy that has teetered for more than a year on the precipice of recession.
“The solution is very, very simple. Extreme House Republicans need to stop playing political games with people’s lives,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Thursday. “There’s so much at stake here.”

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris September 23, 2023 at 2:12 am

As a fed employee, I am amongst those that will be furloughed. Maybe Smashburger needs a burger smasher. Are there any left in SD?


chris schultz September 25, 2023 at 10:58 am

Does that mean you might be posting less about bike lanes on your work computer?


Chris September 25, 2023 at 12:27 pm

Do you care one way or the other?


chris schultz September 26, 2023 at 9:02 am

Depends if you’re making my burger.


Chris September 26, 2023 at 9:10 am

I make a great roadkill burger with shark bacon.


Chris September 23, 2023 at 2:13 am

“Millions of active military service members will stop receiving paychecks — but many will be forced to report to work anyway.”

Actually, all of them will be expected to report to work.


Dr Jack Hammer September 23, 2023 at 2:20 pm

Elect a bunch of CLOWNS… you get a circus. God Bless America!


Toby September 25, 2023 at 2:00 pm

I couldn’t have said it better. Here we go again, and again, and again…


Christo K September 23, 2023 at 7:46 pm

Simple Solution.

Lock Congress in the Rotundra without bathroom access until they have a solution.


FrankF September 24, 2023 at 9:33 am

I’d love to see a part time congress and California state legislature. The Wyoming legislature meets for 40 days every other year. I like that idea.

That way congress will have a very limited opportunity to take away our freedoms.


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