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article imageOp-Ed: A second look at U.S. government shutdowns

By Nancy Houser     Sep 27, 2011 in Politics
Politics that lead to government shutdowns will greatly influence future government interruptions resulting from Congress’s failure to enact within a certain time-frame, such as the October 1 deadline for FEMA funding.
The fiscal year of the government and its federal budget process runs from October 1 to midnight of September 30, with a bipartisan bill for FEMA funding narrowly passing Friday due to GOP resolve not to increase the deficit---even at the risk of shutting down the U.S. government.
According to the CSMonitor, a looming U.S. shutdown was again averted with a vote of 79 to 12, due to Harry Reid’s remark, “It shows us the way out,” Reid told senators just before the Monday vote. “Let’s fight when there’s something to fight about. There’s nothing to fight about tonight.” However, according to Mitch McConnell (Rep) of Kentucky, the Republican principle that “before we spend taxpayers' money we should have a real accounting of what’s actually needed” is still on the table.
Thankfully, FEMA did not need the funding as it had revised its financial estimates on Monday, September 26, 2011, due to the “number of additional disaster survivors who register for assistance, as well as additional survivors that become eligible for assistance,” said a FEMA spokesman in an email. “It’s also important to remember that this estimate assumes that no new disasters strike between now and when the fund may reach zero,” as reported in CSMonitor.
Government shutdowns are not a new thing, as there has been five since 1981: (1) 1981 under President Reagan; (2) 1984 with President Reagan; (3) 1990 with George H.W. Bush; (4) November 1995 to April 1996 under President Clinton. A six day shutdown of the government will cost taxpayers approximately $800 million dollars plus salaries and wages of any furloughed federal employees.
USGovInfo reports that the federal departments that will be most influenced are Medicare, Social Security, Healthcare, Environment, Law Enforcement, Public Safety, US Veterans, Travel, National Parks, Government-backed Loans, and the Department of Homeland Security and its Transportation Security Administration. What divisions that run depend on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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