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What You Need to Know About the Government Shutdown

Alarms are going off as we enter the second week of the government shutdown. The shutdown started on Oct. 1 when Republicans and Democrats couldn’t agree on a spending plan for the fiscal year. The governments fiscal year started on Oct. 1, 2013. The central debate revolves around the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.

Republicans in Congress are desperately trying to derail Obamacare, and they feel that it is worth disrupting the government to do so. There has recently been a cycle of proposal and rejection in Congress. The Republican-dominated House recently passed two spending bill amendments, one that would delay Obamacare for a year, and one that would repeal the plan’s medical device tax. On Monday, Sept. 30, the Senate rejected the House proposals, making way for the government shutdown.

One of the key duties of Congress is to pass spending bills. If it fails to do so by the start of the fiscal year, many functions of the government will be stopped. This is what caused the government shutdown. Many government-funded agencies are now shutdown, including national parks and agencies like the CDC and the FDA. Some limited government services like Social Security, air traffic control, and military pay will continue to be funded.

Mr. Frank Mezler, one of the more politically savvy teachers at Cathedral Prep gave his thoughts on the government shutdown. “I think it is a shame that our leaders have to resort to a shutdown in order to achieve what they want,” he said. “Our country should be built on compromise.”

In terms of how he thinks it will be resolved, Mezler said, “Hopefully it will be resolved before Oct. 17 when we basically run out of money. The debt ceiling needs to be raised in order for us to pay for things like Social Security and Medicare. Neither party will budge, and the longer it goes on, the worse it will get.”

This shutdown is the first one since late 1995, which lasted 21 days. Hopefully this shutdown will not have a huge impact on innocent Americans, many of whom find themselves taking an “unpaid vacation” during the shutdown. Let’s just hope that our government can come to an agreement by Oct. 17, when our government will run out of spending money if the debt ceiling isn’t raised.

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