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What does a US government shutdown mean?

What does a US government shutdown mean?


As of: September 30, 2023 6:57 am

The 2022 US budget approved by Congress expires today. But the new budget has failed so far. What will it mean for Americans if the shutdown is not prevented? An overview.

Walkers and tourists at one of the 600 national parks and national forests in the U.S. may feel the first effects of Sunday’s shutdown, with access barriers reduced and visitor centers closed. Starting Monday, hundreds of thousands of federal employees will be on furlough without pay.

Nearly two million American soldiers remain at their posts – including their troops in Germany. But they also don’t get paid.

Social assistance and pension checks will continue to be sent now. But if statisticians at the Ministry of Labor have to stay home longer, the planned adjustment will have to be postponed.

Problems for families and farmers

The shutdown will quickly become dramatic for at least seven million families with young children who receive powdered milk from the government — a non-reserve program. If the shutdown goes on too long, the SNAP food program could also be at risk. About 42 million Americans rely on this assistance.

Federal police, Coast Guard and Border Patrol agents will continue to work for now, as will pilots and security personnel. Nevertheless, air travelers should be prepared for problems, as there are many trainers on the list at airports – and they should stay at home.

This will be tough as many farmers’ subsidies have now expired and no new budget is in sight.

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Relations with China also suffered

The US government has spent the past few days preparing various authorities to deal with the shutdown. How extensive the damage is depends entirely on length. Last year 2019 lasted 34 days and the economy contracted by 0.2 percent.

The shutdown could put a strain on relations with China, the key word being panda diplomacy: Three bears at a zoo in Washington are due to be farewelled and brought back with much fanfare in the coming weeks. But since the zoo is a federal facility, the panda party may be canceled.