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I need someone who is paying attention to politics to explain something to me.

Clearly, I have not been paying much attention to what has been going on these past few weeks, but WTF is everyon freaking out about? What government is shutting down and why? I see it being mentioned (here, FB, etc) that the Federal govt is going to shut down. Why, how? Is this over the budget? Care to explain this to me like I am 5? Then I will have a million more questions. THANK YOU!!!!

Re: I need someone who is paying attention to politics to explain something to me.

  • Right now we have no budget (the Fed gov't) so we are under a Continuing Resolution (we have the same money for a few months that we had last year)--it expires next Friday.  The GOP is proposing a new budget which includes a bunch of furlough days. At this point, nobody really knows what is going to happen. We could have one day, ten days (which I believe is what they want) or nothing. From what I understand, they don't want to compromise.

     

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  • With no money the federal government can't really operate.  People are literally not allowed to work, even if they'll get reimbursed later, with some exceptions.  So the money has to be approved - i.e. the budget. If no approval, then no money, and we all go home.

    some members of congress want HUGE cuts in spending, some members want not-so-huge cuts, and some want to increase spending (lol.)  there are a lot of extreme ideas being thrown around and heels being dug in. It's not good.

    Furlough days are one thing - like idonthavethis mentioned - that are on the table for federal employees, but the furlough days are not the shutdown. People keep saying to me "what if we're furloughed next month!" it's not the same thing. Furlough days would be accounted for in the budget and would be a way to save a certain percentage of spending. A shutdown would just be a disaster, AND since many federal employees may be reimubursed anyway (our agency got reimbursed last time) - a shutdown would actually cost the government money.  And around here, with so many federal employees, a shutdown would be awful.  (while we may get backpay, it's definitely not guaranteed, and in the meantime we still have to live.)

    Basically someone has to give soon.

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  • So, the short version of this is if Congress doesn't pass a budget by next Friday the Federal government will have to shut down. Is this correct? WTF will happen then? Will the military be without orders? Do we still mail in our taxes, or hold on to them? Do we have a coast guard? Border patrol?

    Clearly I am OMG THE SKY IS FALLING!

    We are screwed. Is it time to stock the bunker?

  • image xmaryrickx:

    So, the short version of this is if Congress doesn't pass a budget by next Friday the Federal government will have to shut down. Is this correct? WTF will happen then? Will the military be without orders? Do we still mail in our taxes, or hold on to them? Do we have a coast guard? Border patrol?

    Clearly I am OMG THE SKY IS FALLING!

    We are screwed. Is it time to stock the bunker?

    Ha, we're not that screwed. This has happened before. It's not passing the budget, it's just another CR (I think.)

    I think military is considered essential, but not the entire military I don't think, and I am not sure about the IRS.

    For example Social Security direct deposits will still happen, but I won't be here, so the appeals process will completely break down Stick out tongue

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  • image mrsbecky07:
    image xmaryrickx:

    So, the short version of this is if Congress doesn't pass a budget by next Friday the Federal government will have to shut down. Is this correct? WTF will happen then? Will the military be without orders? Do we still mail in our taxes, or hold on to them? Do we have a coast guard? Border patrol?

    Clearly I am OMG THE SKY IS FALLING!

    We are screwed. Is it time to stock the bunker?

    Ha, we're not that screwed. This has happened before. It's not passing the budget, it's just another CR (I think.)

    I think military is considered essential, but not the entire military I don't think, and I am not sure about the IRS.

    For example Social Security direct deposits will still happen, but I won't be here, so the appeals process will completely break down Stick out tongue

    To piggy back, this would impact military orders for travel and TDY. But as far as Soldiers reporting to work, they are deployable assets and would have to work. Civilians would not unless they are mission or weather essential.

    I don't know about the postal service.

    There is a lot of speculation. Some say the government won't shut down. Some say it will. Some think it will only be for a day or a couple hours to prove a point.

    Getting "back paid" is not even a guarantee if this happens. Just because it happened in 95' doesn't mean it is guaranteed for 2011.

  • Becky and KissMyFace are right.  To add, each agency gets a certain % of "essential" workers--for example, in the agency responsible for human health, clinical center will still run to keep people alive, our animal care folks will still be here to keep the lab animals alive.

    I belive the postal service will still run because they do not rely on appropriated funds for salaries.

    Contractors who need federal money but are actually paid by companies are f-ed--they are the least likely to get back pay.

    The politics behind it are exactly as Becky said, the Reps don't want to vote to raise the amount of debt the US will carry and that needs to happen before a spendy budget can be passed.  THEN the budget needs to be passed and heels are dug in there as well.  Bloggers are calling it a massive game of chicken. The shut down of the government is a side effect of having no approved budget (appropriated funds), not something anyone is voting FOR or AGAINST.

  • I thought the GOP was trying to put people back to work?
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  • image KathrynMD:
    I thought the GOP was trying to put people back to work?

    Kathryn, I'm reading this as you being snarky so if you don't mean it that way, disregard this comment.

     The government shutdown would be a side effect of neither party wanting to give in to the other one, not the GOP voting to eff the federal workers.  The Dems could just as easily accept the proposed cuts.

  • image idonthavethis:

    Right now we have no budget (the Fed gov't) so we are under a Continuing Resolution (we have the same money for a few months that we had last year)--it expires next Friday.  The GOP is proposing a new budget which includes a bunch of furlough days. At this point, nobody really knows what is going to happen. We could have one day, ten days (which I believe is what they want) or nothing. From what I understand, they don't want to compromise.

     

    Because, clearly, that's the way to get things done.

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  • image lsgarver:

    image KathrynMD:
    I thought the GOP was trying to put people back to work?

    Kathryn, I'm reading this as you being snarky so if you don't mean it that way, disregard this comment.

     The government shutdown would be a side effect of neither party wanting to give in to the other one, not the GOP voting to eff the federal workers.  The Dems could just as easily accept the proposed cuts.

     

    Eh, part of the issue though is that not ALL the Rs WANT all these proposed cuts.  Some of the Republicans are pushing for close to 100 billion in cuts, some of the Rs only want 50 billion, etc. - it's interesting to because as the minority party, Republicans are pretty united.  Here, as the majority party, they're starting to "splinter".  (in quotes because I don't really think the party is actually splintering, but they are splintering more so than at other times.)   

    The Rs don't want a government shut down because what they DONT want to hear during the 2012 election about how when the Rs take over, the government shuts down (Hi Gingrich!)  They're not dumb politically.  The Dems are though, so it might not come up at all, ha. 

    And really the idea that the Dems can just "give in" is hilarious.  Dems are so weak-minded and spineless that I'm frankly amused the Rs haven't forced a rollover yet.  It goes to my prior point about the Rs splintering here. I would find this infinitely fascinating if not for the fact that I have financial goals to meet and I don't want to go without a paycheck. 

     

    H is out of town and I'm here drinking beer and watching Food TV, so if this rambles somewhat, that's why, ha.   

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