“Sorry, we’re closed.”

The United States Government shut down Saturday, January 20, starting at midnight in the Eastern Time Zone. The shutdown was due to failure to pass legislation that would fund government agencies and operations.
“What causes a government shutdown?” some may question. A government shutdown happens when a spending bill has expired, and Congress cannot come to an agreement on how to fund the government.
Just two days into the shutdown, Congress made a vote to end the government shutdown. Congress’ action included an extension on the time they have to make an agreement. The extended date is February 8, 2018 and if by then there is not an agreement, there will be another government shutdown.
Non-Essential Federal employees, the morning of Monday, January 21, went into their offices to find that all operations were ceased. These non-essential employees were only required to go into their offices for a half day to shutdown the office and wait until they received furlough notices, which informed them they were essentially laid-off for the duration of the shutdown. However, some parts of the government cannot be stopped for a government shutdown. These employees must work without pay. The government agencies cease operations during a government shutdown and do not know if they will receive pay during the shutdown. Congress determines if 2.79 million employees will go without pay or not during the shutdown. The employees found out after the shutdown was over that in the Continuing Resolution to fund the government, Congress has decreed that some federal employees would be paid.
Congress still needs to come up with a solution for federal spending. The parties have not agreed yet on budget caps. Republicans are wanting to raise the budget on military spending, however they need the democratic votes in order to pass the Stand-Alone Defense Spending Bill. The Stand-Alone Defense Bill is a bill that would provide $659.2 billion for the Department of Defense. On the third day of the shutdown, Congress made a vote to end the government shutdown. By voting to end the shutdown, Congress now have an extension to February 8, 2018 to make an agreement.

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The Neal Smith Federal Building, Des Moines, IA.

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