Why the government shuts down

Written by Annie Coniglio, World News Writer

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According to Kimberly Amadeo, who writes economic and business news for The Balance, “a government shutdown is when non-essential discretionary federal programs close.” Our commander in chief, who also serves as the president, must do this when Congress fails to appropriate funds. When the government appropriates funds, it means that they are delegating cash for their business operations. The Balance explains “when Congress doesn’t appropriate funds by September 30 for the following fiscal year, they create a continuing funding resolution”.

When the government shuts down, certain agencies that are major departments shut down as well, such as NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, Health and Human Services, and the Food and Drug Administration.

There are also crucial administrative departments that remain open such as air traffic controls, Transportation Security Administration, and border protection and immigration. The Justice Department also stays open, but gun permits are not issued when the government shuts down due to the shutting down of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which can affect firearm sales. The United States Postal Service, however, stays open because they are issued a fund that is not run by the government.  

A government shut-down also affects citizens locally. If there is a child on Children’s Health Insurance Program, which affects people who have too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough for private health care, their future in health care is uncertain. This can lead people to worry about paying for medical expenses and if they will not have enough coverage.

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