Monday Feb 28, 201107:28 PM GMT
Quick Facts: US government shutdown
Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:32PM
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The U.S. government is set to shut down at the end of Friday, March 4, if lawmakers cannot agree on a way to extend federal funding before then.

 

Highlights

 

Senate Democrats warned early in February of dire economic consequences if Congress fails to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, saying it could prompt a shutdown of the federal government. AlterNet

 

Governors from across the U.S. have warned that federal budget cuts and a government shutdown could hurt states' slow economic recovery and said suggestions to allow states to declare bankruptcy damaged their ability to borrow. Reuters

 

If a shutdown were to occur, workers will be furloughed without pay, national parks and museums will close, veterans' services will be affected, visa and passport processing will be delayed, and border patrol and law enforcement will be curtailed. AOL News

 

If a shutdown were to occur, "citizens couldn't get their checks, veterans couldn't get their benefits, military payments would stop," U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer said. Breitbart

 

Government shutdown

 

If Congress fails to pass all of the spending bills comprising the annual federal budget or "continuing resolutions" extending spending beyond the end of the fiscal year; or if the president fails to sign or vetoes any of the individual spending bills, certain non-essential functions of the government may be forced to cease due to a lack of congressionally-authorized funding. The result is a government shutdown. About.com

 

Senate Democrats warned early in February of dire economic consequences if Congress fails to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, saying it could prompt a shutdown of the federal government. AlterNet

 

Governors from across the U.S. have warned that federal budget cuts and a government shutdown could hurt states' slow economic recovery and said suggestions to allow states to declare bankruptcy damaged their ability to borrow. Reuters

 

History of shutdowns

 

Since 1981 there have been five government shutdowns.

 

1981: President Reagan vetoed a continuing resolution and 400,000 Federal employees were sent home at lunch and told not to come back. A few hours later, President Reagan signed a new version of the continuing resolution and the workers were back at work the next morning.

 

1984: With no approved budget, 500,000 federal workers were sent home. An emergency spending bill has them all back at work the next day.

 

1990: With no budget or continuing resolution, the government shuts down during the entire three-day Columbus Day weekend. Most workers were off anyway and an emergency spending bill signed by President Bush over the weekend has them back at work on Tuesday morning.

 

1995-1996: Two government shutdowns beginning on November 14, 1995, idled different functions of the federal government for various lengths of time until April of 1996. The most serious government shutdowns in the nation's history resulted from a budget impasse between Democratic President Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress over funding for Medicare, education, the environment and public health.

           

Possible consequences

 

If a shutdown were to occur, workers will be furloughed without pay, national parks and museums will close, veterans' services will be affected, visa and passport processing will be delayed, and border patrol and law enforcement will be curtailed. AOL News

 

If a shutdown were to occur, "citizens couldn't get their checks, veterans couldn't get their benefits, military payments would stop," U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer said. Breitbart

 

The 1995 shutdown furloughed some 800,000 federal workers; delayed processing of visas, passports, and other government applications; suspended cleanup at 600 toxic waste sites; and closed national museums and monuments as well as 368 national park sites - a loss to some 9 million visitors and the airline and tourist industries that service them. Christian Science Monitor

 

ARA/SM/DB

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