Tis’ the season…for another government shutdown.

The past few days have been filled with many headlines speculating if and when a shutdown would happen, how long it would last, and the stipulations that would come with ending it. Various news outlets have been attempting to reason the possible causes and what could be causing the roadblocks in making a deal. To help you sift through all of the information, here is what happens if the government shuts down at the end of the week.


In December 2017, also known as the last time we heard threats of a government shutdown, Congress passed a continuing resolution to keep the government going for another month. This allowed for Republican members like Speaker Paul Ryan, to focus on passing the tax reform bill and end the year on a high note.

When the spending bill was put aside to be dealt with in 2018, many Democrats promised to attach legislation they would like to see, like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program replacement to a bill that is important to fiscally conservative Republicans.  

Time is up. It is now a month later. The chances of the government shutting down are becoming more probable as the days pass.

What’s happening now

There have been many roadblocks in attempts to reach a deal. The biggest of that being the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA being attached by Democratic lawmakers as a part of the deal. Immigration is shaping up to be one of the largest issues lawmakers will need to tackle this election year.

RELATED: What Is DACA And Why Are People Talking About It? Let’s Break It Down

Short term spending bills have been discussed to keep the government funded through February. Those talks have been met with disdain, especially from Republicans and members of the Freedom Caucus.

Looking ahead

If the government shuts down, or does not have a signed spending bill by midnight on Friday, all non-essential federals workers will be placed on furlough. Mandatory programs such as social security will still be processed. Pay for military can be delayed if the shutdown continues in February. Federal parks and landmarks will also be closed.

Republicans and Democrats alike in Congress are working hard to negotiate a deal that includes gains for their side. Only time will tell how it works out.

Bailey L
Bailey is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who enjoys writing, traveling, and coffee. When she isn't working, you can find her with her nose in a book or planning her next adventure.

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