The Point

The Point

The Point

Government Shutdowns:

What would be the aftermath?

Early on Nov. 16, 2023, Congress, with President Biden’s approval, finalized a bill that provided a government funding package that temporarily ended the discussions of a potential government shutdown until January. 

A commonly misunderstood topic, government shutdowns occur when Congress fails to approve funding for the 12 annual appropriation bills, each representing a part of the American economy. 

When this situation occurs, many non-essential workers are left temporarily jobless while the most essential workers continue to work with no pay. 

Even ordinary citizens may be affected by the shutdown’s effects, some of which may include delays in loan or passport applications, closed bathrooms in government-run areas and fewer food-safety inspections. 

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Although the country avoided a major obstacle, many officials and leaders have their concerns about the future of the nation. 

​​“Last night I signed a bill preventing a government shutdown. It’s an important step but we have more to do,” United States President Joe Biden said on Nov. 17 on X (formerly Twitter). “I urge Congress to address our national security and domestic needs—and House Republicans to stop wasting time on extreme bills and honor our bipartisan budget agreement.”

Congress’s new package allows some of the government’s agencies to be fully funded until January 19 and February 2 of 2024. If Congress doesn’t pass another bill before one of the two deadlines, the nation faces another risk of a partial or even complete government shutdown. 

Many have reservations about the new funding, as some believe it creates two more huge opportunities for another government shutdown panic. 

In addition, Congress’s new package shifts any economic focus away from the White House’s request for funds in the Ukraine-Russia complication. 

These concerns have American citizens worried about another future disaster, along with its countless consequences. 

“There are more than four million workers that earn their salaries working jobs to keep the United States stable, prosperous and free,” PVHS American Government teacher Tecia Barton said. 

“When the government ‘shuts’ down these four million people are temporarily ‘let go’ with no paycheck [and] others are required by law to show up to work without pay.” 

Barton feels the strong need to make a change in the current system in order to avert additional financial crises.

“If we are going to keep the process in place, the first ‘shut down on salaries’ should be those of the elected officials and appointed officials of the national government starting with the 435 members of the House of Representatives,” said Barton.

About the Contributor
Ethan Sung, Reporter