The Government Shutdown: What's Shutting Down? Does It Affect You?

6 years ago

Barring a Hail Mary budget, at midnight tonight, we're going to find ourselves in the middle of a government shutdown. But what, exactly, does this mean? The last two government shutdowns came in 1995 and 1996, and we can predict a bit how this one will go based on what happened back then.


When the government shuts down tonight, non-essential government employees will be furloughed without pay. They are not supposed to work during this time period, even on a volunteer basis. Which means that even if you aren't a government employee, you will be affected by the shutdown because services will cease to exist. For instance, if there is a park that requires an employee to be there in order for the park to operate, the park will be closed during this time. (This affects all "394 national parks across the country.") The Smithsonian and the National Zoo will be closed to visitors.

Our DC trash collection and street sweeping will be stopped. Mail WILL be delivered. Your tax refund may be affected. Getting nervous?

Required Reading:

  • The Washington Post has done a great job answering all the questions you might possibly have about the shutdown in a Q and A guide.
  • DCist has a fantastic A-to-Z guide.
  • Alaska Dispatch has broken down the situation into the basics.
  • MSNBC has a guide.

What are your thoughts on the impending government shutdown? Are you affected? Please let us know in the comment section as well as add a link (using Mr. Linky) to any blog posts that you are writing about the shutdown so we can feature you here.

Credit Image: © Louie Palu/ZUMAPRESS.com

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.

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