Major Crisis – U.S Government Shutdown
A major crisis had hit the United States Government in the last few weeks. On October 1, 2013, the United States Federal Government entered into a shutdown. The United States Constitution requires the spending by the government to be passed by bills in the United States Congress. The United States Congress failed to enact a continuing resolution for the 2014 fiscal year. This type of a government shutdown has not taken place since 1995-1996 when the last U.S government shutdown took place. The October 2013 government shutdown is being called a partial government shutdown however a large part of the U.S government is in shutdown since 1st October 2013.
Impact of the U.S Shutdown
This directly impacted the common man in America either directly or indirectly. When the U.S government went into shutdown about 800,000 government employees working in various different departments run by the government were furloughed. Another 1.3 million people have had to report to work without any immediate pay. Due to the Antideficiency Act that passed, the services that are deemed expected are continuing and so this was a partial shutdown of the U.S Government. Some mini appropriation bills related to some areas that need funding like veterans benefits and other important areas related to business were passed but the entire budget passed only after weeks of negotiations. The crisis came to an end on October 16-17th when both the issues of the U.S government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis were both resolved.
Reasons behind the Shutdown
Washington politics faced a serious meltdown during the period of shutdown as both the sides of the debate dug in their heels and a compromise was very difficult to achieve in the U.S Senate as well as in the House of Representatives. Ted Cruz and other conservative politicians in Washington supported by conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation wanted to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act or Obamacare. This was unacceptable to the Democrats. On one side the Republicans and on the other side the Obama Administration and the Democrats resulted in some tensions and heated politicking in Washington. Compromise took a long time to achieve and in the process a large number of Americans suffered directly and indirectly from the U.S government shutdown. Also by taking extreme positions the politicians, their approval ratings also plummeted and people in the United States were very frustrated with their elected representatives. The shutdown was bad for the economy as well as showed a really partisan idea of politics that leaves little room for a compromise.