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International Relations

US Government Shutdown

US Government Shutdown


  • GS2 || International Relations || International Politics || USA in World Affairs

Why in news?

  • The US federal government entered a partial shutdown, suspending funding for many agencies.

What happens in a US government shutdown?

  • In shutdowns, non essential government employees are lay off, or placed on temporary unpaid leave. However, Workers deemed essential, including those dealing with public safety and national security, keep working.

What’s the row about?

  • Mr Trump says he will not compromise on his demands for funding to build a border wall between the US and Mexico to tackle illegal immigration.
  • He is refusing to sign a wider spending package, forcing large parts of the government to shut down. But opposition Democrats – who take over the House of Representatives in January – and some within Mr Trump’s party, the Republicans, insist they won’t give the president the $5bn he says he needs.

Why a wall?

  • Trump, in his many public statements on immigration and border security, has said an “impenetrable” wall would “stop dangerous drugs and criminals from pouring into our country.”

How much would a wall cost?

  • Estimates range from $8 billion to $67 billion or more.

Would a wall even work?

  • Most experts doubt that a physical wall would do much to reduce illegal drugs pouring into the country each year.

How common is a shutdown?

  • There have been 12 government shutdowns in the US since 1981, although ranging in duration.
  • The longest occurred under Bill Clinton, lasting a total of 21 days from December 1995 to January 1996.

Consequences of a shutdown?

  • A government shutdown would cost the US roughly $6.5bn a week, according to a report by S&P Global analysts released in December.
  • The analysis, which based its numbers off previous shutdowns, also predicted potentially devastating ramifications for the economy.
  • Nearly 1 million people would not receive regular pay checks in the event of a shutdown.

Additional information – About USA Congress :

  • The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate.