December 5, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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A twenty-year government shutdown is inevitable if America runs out of funds

A twenty-year government shutdown is inevitable if America runs out of funds

The Capitol in Washington, where the House of Representatives is located.Image J. Scott Applewhite / AB

In the US, the federal government will be shut down if the budget is not passed into law before the start of the new fiscal year on October 1. Such a ‘fiscal gap’ does not mean shutting down the government if the deficit is small or can be closed quickly. But the past six deficits have led to shutdowns.

In all, the government was shut down ten times with twenty deficits. On average, these closures lasted nine days. The most recent, which began in December 2018 and lasted 34 days, followed disagreements over then-President Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border. As happened last weekend, the shutdown could happen after October 1, after first being a temporary arrangement.

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About ten years ago, the government was threatened with shutdown several times because it was not allowed to carry debts. However, this can be circumvented by a so-called debt ceiling.

It often happens that the majority of the House of Representatives is from a different party than the president, but that’s not necessarily a turn off. Democrat Jimmy Carter faced budget deficits five times in the late 1970s, even though his own party had the majority of representatives. The record shutdown at the end of 2018 began with a Republican majority and ended with Democrats gaining a majority.

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