Early Saturday morning, the Government shut down. The Senate did not have the 60 votes required to fund the government, and no compromise could be made. So, what does this mean? Who’s to blame? Has this happened before? We’ll answer all of those questions.
What does this mean?
Basically, the US Government no longer has a budget, so many federal programs and departments are no longer receiving funding. Essential programs, such as police and fire, are still being funded. However, other programs, such as some National Parks, have been shut down. For a full list of what’s affected, I suggest you read this New York Times article. A major concern among those on the Hill is the fact that the military is no longer receiving the funding it needs to pay soldiers and give death benefits. Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced language to keep paying soldiers during the shutdown, but the Republican Majority Leader objected.
Who’s to Blame?
Both sides are blaming the other for this shutdown. Most Republicans blame Democrats, saying that since the majority of them voted against a 3-week funding gap bill, they were the cause of the shutdown. However, most Democrats blame Republicans and Trump, saying that passing a 3-week gap bill would only delay the problem, not solve it. Democrats want a DACA bill, as well as CHIP funding, which Republicans failed to renew over 100 days ago and are now holding hostage. A bipartisan budget agreement was made with both DACA and CHIP, but the President abruptly opposed the bill.
Has this Happened Before?
Yes, the government has shut down multiple times, most notability under President Obama for over 2 weeks, when Republicans wanted to repeal Obamacare through the budget, even without a control of the Senate or White House. For a complete history of government shutdowns, I suggest you read this Vox article.