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Update: What Will Happen If the Government Shuts Down?

Dec 8, 2015 | Other Spending

Here we go again, again. With government funding set to expire at the end of the week and no deal on the table, it is possible that the government will shut down for the second time in three years or at least require another Continuing Resolution. While the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 set topline spending levels above the previous sequester caps, there is no set agreement on exactly how that money should be spent and which policies ought to accompany it in an omnibus appropriations bill. To help prepare for a possible shutdown, CRFB has released an updated primer on what happens in and the the consequences of a government shutdown.

The primer, Q&A: Everything You Should Know About Government Shutdowns, goes through the funding process and the budgetary, economic, and administrative consequences of a shutdown. It answers 14 different questions:

  1. What is a government shutdown?
  2. What services are affected in a shutdown and how?
  3. Is the government preparing for a shutdown?
  4. How will federal employees be affected?
  5. How and why do mandatory programs continue during a shutdown?
  6. How many times has the government shut down?
  7. Does a government shutdown save money?
  8. How can Congress avoid a shutdown?
  9. What is a Continuing Resolution (CR)?
  10. How often does Congress pass CRs?
  11. What are the disadvantages of using CRs?
  12. How is Congress addressing funding?
  13. How does a shutdown differ from a default?
  14. How does a shutdown differ from "sequester"?

The primer goes into many aspects of government shutdowns, ranging from lawmakers' progression on avoiding one to passing a CR. Overall, it is a helpful reminder of why it's best that they come to an agreement rather than let the government shutdown.

Click here to read the full Q&A.