Another day, another yikes-we’re-doomed headline. Today, it’s that the U.S. government shut down at midnight on Friday, January 19th. Why? Because Democrats and Republicans failed to come to an agreement on a budget bill before the day was up. This isn’t the first time a government shutdown has occurred. Previous shutdowns have lasted up to a few weeks.
So, what does a government shutdown mean for us? The immediate effects will be felt by government employees, many of whom will be furloughed if Congress can’t come to an agreement. But while some bureaucratic processes might be delayed until things are up and running again, you’re still going to get your mail and social security checks. The government shutdown won’t impact any upcoming travel plans, as air traffic controllers and the TSA will still be working. Unless those travel plans are to a national park, in which case you’ll need to reschedule because they’ll be closed. And sadly, we’ll all still have to file our taxes no matter how long this freeze goes on.
But just how long will the government shutdown last?
The short answer? We’re not sure. In order for things to resume, a consensus has to be reached. Democrats, by and large, aren’t willing to budge until there’s a reasonable fix for DACA. Republicans aren’t willing to compromise on DACA unless Democrats give them more money for border security. (Donald Trump’s wall included.)
The Senate will meet again on Saturday, January 20th, so we can only hope that they find a resolution to get the government up and running again.