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Government Shutdown: How Will This Affect Our Families?

Republican and Democrats better stop arguing and fighting and start working together and compromising. If not, our nation may be forced into government shutdown mode. Neither side wants that to happen, but if they can’t agree and get the budget stalemate resolved, federal officials will be left with no choice but to employ a shutdown of many government offices and agencies. Many citizens are left wondering how this will effect them and their families?  What will happen?
The phrase “government shutdown,” does come off pretty drastic. But it’s been done before and we survived. The last time this occurred was back in 1995 and the government is apparently prepared to deal with it if it happens. The White House Office of Management and Budget stated that, “Since the 1980s, all agencies have had to maintain a plan in case of a government shutdown, and agencies are prepared for any contingency as a matter of course.” Just a day in the life of being a cog in the political machine.

The departments that will be stopped depend on if they are considered “essential” and if they are self funded. For example, your parents or grandparents will still be getting their Social Security checks mailed out, but if they want to call the office with a question? Those lines will probably be down. The post office and passport offices are self-funded, so they will continue to run uninterrupted. The military, air traffic control, law-enforcement agencies and health-care workers are all considered essential and will continue. The National Park Service will probably be greatly affected. The rangers will be sent home, but that will result in a financial lose of camping fees being collected. The National Park Service also includes national museums and monuments so many a children’s field trips will no doubt be cancelled. As for our public libraries, they will probably stay open, but the presidential libraries and the Library of Congress will likely close during the shutdown.

How long will the shutdown last? There have been nine shutdowns since 1977 and 1995, the longest was seventeen days, but most were about three days.  Hopefully it will be a short lives shut down and our families will weather the government shutdown unscathed. But on the bright side, those government workers who are being sent home will get some extra family time!

Image: Flickr user Sabrinak

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