Government shuts down until Congress agrees on budget

TATE HOLCOMBEPhoto Editor

NBC Washington reports the Capitol is closed to visitors during the shutdown. (Photo courtesy of Tate Holcombe, Photo Editor)

NBC Washington reports the Capitol is closed to visitors during the shutdown. (Photo courtesy of Tate Holcombe, Photo Editor)

The clock struck midnight before Congress could pass a continuing resolution to fund the federal government into the next fiscal year.

At 11:59 p.m. on Monday, the Office of Management and Budget ordered federal agencies to begin shutdown procedures. This occurred after House Republicans passed a budget that maintained current levels of spending but eliminated funding for the Affordable Care Act. However, the Democrat-controlled Senate did not approve the budget because they insisted that the ACA be fully funded. Without an appropriation from Congress, it is illegal for federal agencies to spend taxpayer money after the shutdown.

A government shutdown does not mean that the government completely stops. According to the Office of Management and Budget, approximately 800,000 government employees will be furloughed by the shutdown. Agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, and NASA are all operating on minimal personnel. However, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department are still operating at near full capacity. In total, only about 20 percent of government operations are affected by the shutdown.

The Health Insurance Marketplace, a key aspect of the ACA, opened Tuesday as planned in spite of the shutdown.

Until Congress can come to an agreement on a budget for the next fiscal year, federal agencies will remain shutdown.

Leave a comment

All fields marked (*) are required