Updated: Oct 2
Emma Sulaiman, Staff Writer
The U.S. Capitol building at sunset. Photo//Lucky-photographer on Shutterstock.
Congress is struggling to seal a deal to fund the federal government while negotiations for next year’s spending are agreed on, and if an agreement is not met by Sunday, Oct. 1, the U.S. government will shut down.
A government shutdown occurs when Congress is unable to pass a dozen annual bills, which are handled by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. Considering the House has only passed one bill and Congress hasn’t passed any, a partial government shutdown could still happen even if a few more bills are passed.
Such a delay calls for other methods, such as a stopgap spending bill to temporarily fund government agencies. A stopgap spending bill would buy Congress another 45 days to come to a decision and avoid a shutdown.
Many Americans and their families will be affected if lawmakers don’t come to an agreement before said date. If this shutdown were to happen, it would affect all federally funded programs, such as public schools, student loans and food inspections.
The White House warns that many students could instantly lose their federal aid, along with a potential disruption in funding for public education, making it difficult for schools to continue teaching in their standard curriculum.
The Food and Drug Administration could be forced to delay food safety inspections for a wide variety of products all across the country, putting food industry workers and customers at risk from unsanitary food and workspaces.
Additionally, small businesses would lose a big chunk of government funding, almost $100 million in total, which would slow down the economy and the development of these businesses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they may stop releasing data such as the unemployment rate and inflation, making it more difficult to interpret the economy.
However, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy said, “We will move a continuing resolution, bring a rule to the floor to secure our border and keep the government open.”
McCarthy’s statement doesn’t seem to hold up. As of 6 p.m. on Sept. 29, the government is still struggling to handle this situation.
If a shutdown occurs, the government will keep all “essential” funding running, but a cutback on all current funding will disrupt American life as we know it.