The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


Government Shutdown to Continue

The federal government has been shutdown as of Oct. 1 as a result of a Congressional stalemate over Obamacare.

Congress must pass 12 appropriations bills annually to fund the various facets of the federal government. In recent years, Congress has been unable to come to a consensus, so they have resorted to passing “continuing resolutions” (bills that temporarily outline government spending policies).

This year, Congress passed a continuing resolution March 28. However, the resolution expired Sept. 30. Because Congress cannot reach an agreement, federal funding ran out at midnight on Oct. 1. However, the government will now separate its funding into two different sectors: the “essential” and “non-essential.’

Earlier this month, the Office of Management and Budget ordered companies under government regulation to check their employees status under the bill. Essential employees are required to remain on the job without pay (for the time being). Non-essential employees will attend half a day of work, to help close down, and then leave, also, without pay. Anything  related to public safety, national security, or programs written into permanent law (like Social Security or Welfare) are considered essential. This also includes the military, U.S. embassies, and emergency respondents. The U.S. Postal Service, Food Stamps, funding for unemployment, Federal Reserve, and of course, Congress, are all essential as well. On Sept. 30, Obama signed a law stipulating that those actively serving in the military will still be paid, even during the shutdown. Everyone else, while are not being paid now, will most likely receive “retroactive” pay as soon as an agreement is reached and passed by the government on federal spending.

This is not the case, however, for non-essential employees. Nearly 800,000 government officials did not go to work today because of the shutdown. Non-essential sectors of the government include: housing and health voucher programs, civil cases, national parks and museums, regulatory agencies, financial regulators, visas and passports, and money for veterans.


Who will be affected?

Department of Commerce: 46,420 employees (87 percent non-essential)

Department of Defense: Nearly 400,000 employees (50 percent non-essential)

Department of Energy: 13,814 employees (69 percent non-essential)

Environmental Protection Agency: 16,205 (94 percent non-essential)

Department of Health and Human Services: 78,198 (52 percent non-essential)

Department of Homeland Security: 231,117 (14 percent non-essential)

Department of Housing and Urban Development: 8,709 (95 percent non-essential)

Department of Interior: 72,562 (81 percent non-essential)

Department of Justice: 114,486 (15 percent non-essential)

Department of Labor: 16,304 (82 percent non-essential)

NASA: 18,134 (97 percent non-essential)

Social Security Administration: 62,343 (29 percent non-essential)

Department of Treasury: 112,461 (80 percent non-essential)

Department of Transportation: 55,468 (33 percent non-essential)

Department of Veteran Affairs: 332,025 (4 percent non-essential)

(all stats from


The federal government has faced 17 other shutdowns. The longest one occurred in 1995-1996, lasting 21 days during the Clinton administration..

For every day the government is not in operation, the local economy in Washington D.C.  is expected to lose $200 million. Despite the efforts of House Republicans, Obamacare will not be stopped. On the contrary, citizens may now shop for their own health care plan under the law as it came into affect on Tuesday and relies on mandatory spending.

As the House, Senate, and president continue to quarrel, the government shutdown will continue.

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Government Shutdown to Continue