On Oct. 1, many Americans awoke to find that they could no longer get their passport renewed, were on furlough (temporary unpaid leave from their job) and couldn’t visit their favorite national park or zoo. According to media estimates, an approximate 800,000 federal workers are out of work. This is the first government shutdown in 17 years, and there is no estimation of when the government will be up and running again.
Each year, Congress is supposed to come to an agreement on an appropriation bill, which helps fund federal agencies and set priorities for spending. The government shutdown is a result of Congress not being able to come to an agreement on the federal budget, the biggest issue being Obamacare.
The only federal government services that will be available during this shutdown are those that are deemed essential, which is any service that has to do with national security and public safety (military, police officers etc.)
Frequently asked questions:
1. How does this affect your financial aid?
Federal financial aid is one of the few things that will still be available during this shutdown; however, public universities and school districts will suffer due to a large number of educational employees being put on furlough.
2. What does this mean for national defense?
The military will still be up and running because it is deemed an essential service.
3.What happens to Social Security and Medicare?
Social Security and Medicare checks will still be mailed; however, people should expect delays.
4. What about national parks?
All national parks and zoos will be closed to the public during the shutdown.
5. Can passports still be renewed?
Passports are deemed an unessential service, therefore passports will not be able to be renewed or obtained.
BY SHANNON KINLEY