US government shuts down for first time in 17 years as congress misses deadline


On Oct. 1 at midnight, the US government shut down. Congress is now working on a plan to restore funds and end the shutdown.

Government shut downs happen when the government hits their spending limit and Congress does not raise it. The government then does not have the money to fund non-essential government functions. It is like having a credit card. Once all the credit is gone, a call to the credit company is made to ask for a raise in credit limit. If they say no, the credit card can no longer be used.

The delay lies within the fighting between  Democrats and Republicans over The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare. Republicans insist that the new spending bills must remove funding, derail, or otherwise chip away at The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Democrats are just as insistent that it does not.

An estimate says that around 800,000 federal employees will be sent home until the issue is resolved, though most of the 3.3 million total federal employees will keep working. Among the programs and functions being shut down or affected are passport services, national parks, and small business and federal housing loans.

Along with the delay or shut down of non-essential government functions, the economy will take a hit. If compared to the government shut down in 1996, this shutdown could easily cost the government two billion dollars.