US govt readies for potential shutdown as funding impasse continues
As Congress remains at an impasse on a funding deal, federal departments and agencies have begun the mandatory process of bringing non-essential functions to a halt
With the US government on the brink of a shutdown this week as Congress remains at an impasse on a funding deal, federal departments and agencies have begun the mandatory process of planning to bring non-essential functions to a halt, local media reported.
In October 2021, US President Joe Biden had signed a short-term funding bill after Congress passed the measure, averting a partial government shutdown.
Every department and agency has its own set of plans and procedures in the event of a shutdown. That guidance includes information on how many employees will be furloughed, which employees are essential and will work without pay, how long it will take to wind down operations in the hours before a shutdown, and which activities will come to a halt. Those plans can vary from shutdown to shutdown, CNN reported.
On 22 September, the office of management and budget reminded senior agency officials to update and review shutdown plans.
Should Congress fail to pass a short-term spending bill to keep the proverbial lights on, a shutdown could have enormous impact on all Americans, in areas from air travel to clean drinking water.
The nearly 4 million Americans who are federal employees will feel the effect immediately. Essential workers will remain on the job, but others will be furloughed until the shutdown is over. None will be paid during the impasse, CNN reported.
For many of them, a shutdown would strain their finances, as it did during the record 35-day funding lapse in 2018-19, CNN reported.