What is American Government Shutdown (American Shutdown)?
A government shutdown is a situation in America when non – essential discretionary federal services are closed down due to lack of funds. The shutdown occurs when Congress (American Legislature) does not appropriate funds. Congress does not appropriate funds when it does not agree with the demands made by President.
It is called Partial Shutdown because only non-essential federal services offered by federal government are stopped and not all the services.
Usually, Congress appropriates funds by 30th of September for the following fiscal year. In case it doesn’t appropriates, it passes a continuing funding resolution. In case even a continuing funding resolution is not passed, shutdown occurs.
Why did recent shutdown happen?
U.S. President Donald Trump demanded $5.7 billion appropriation from Congress for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. There are two major political parties in US- Republicans and democrats. President Donald Trump belongs to republican party. Members of democrat party constitute opposition.
The democrats in the US Congress agreed for $1.6 billion package for border security, provided the money is not used to build a wall. On the other hand, President Trump said that he would veto any bills passed by Congress, appropriating funds for various federal government departments, that do not also provide for wall construction.
The House of Representatives (lower house of American legislature) passed the appropriation bill which provided funding for the government and $5.7 billion allocation for the wall. However, the bill could not pass through Senate (upper house of American legislature) on account of opposition from democrats. Consequently, shutdown took place.
The recent shutdown began on December 21, 2018 and ended on January 25, 2019. It lasted for 35 days. It ended when President Trump and Congress members came to an agreement and president Trump signed a bill that funded the government services for three weeks. Later on, the government services were provided funds for extended duration.
Though shutdown has ended, President Trump has vowed to construct wall on US-Mexico border.
Impact of Shutdown
About 420,000 employees who were critical for government functioning, kept working without pay. 380,000 employees, who were not so critical for government functioning, were sent home without pay. Later on, once the shutdown ended, Congress passed a bill to reimburse employees for lost wages .
The shutdown affected economic growth. It is estimated that the shutdown reduced American gross domestic product by $11 billion.