"Shutdown" in the United States

Financial shutdown (government shutdown) in the United States implies an end to work of the state institutions financed directly by Congress, due to the lack of an agreed budget for the next fiscal year. 

Suspension of financing does not mean the immediate closure of enterprises and institutions – some of them, such as the State Department, have unspent funds in their accounts that can be used for some time. 
This happened in the history of the United States more than once. Two “shutdowns” occurred under the administration of Donald Trump. 

At midnight on January 20, 2018, the US federal government stopped working due to lack of funding. 

Democrats in the Senate did not allow the Republicans to pass the bill. Democrats demanded to include in the temporary budget measures on immigration, which were opposed by Republicans and the White House. The leader of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate Chuck Schumer said that the blame for the closure (shutdown) of Federal agencies that are left without funding because of the failure of the bill rests squarely on President Donald Trump. 

On January 22, 2018, US President Donald Trump signed a bill on temporary funding (until February 8) of the country’s government. 

On February 7, Republicans and Democrats announced a two-year budget deal to end permanent sequestering and adoption of interim budgets, while it was assumed that spending could grow by $ 300 billion over the next two years. However, at the last moment, Republican Senator Rand Paul demanded a vote on his amendment, providing for funding within the current limits. 

On February 9, 2018, it became known that the United States Congress dispersed without approving the budget, Federal agencies automatically suspended work at midnight. 

A few hours later, US President Donald Trump signed the federal budget bill for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The bill was signed by the head of state after it was adopted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States Congress. 

For the second time the government suspended work under Trump in December 2018. 

On December 22, 2018, at the last meeting before the Christmas holidays, the Democrats in the US Senate did not agree to approve the budget option. The stumbling block was Trump’s demand to agree on $ 5 billion for the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico as part of this document. According to Democrats, the wall does not solve the problem, and refused to agree on the allocation of such funds. The Republicans, who have a minimum majority in the Senate, offered to adopt a temporary budget until February 8 without the $ 5 billion requested by Trump, but the president refused to sign this option. As a result, the budget was not approved, and according to the law, some Federal services and agencies remained formally without funding entered a limited mode of work. 

December 27, the U.S. Senate began to consider the budget that automatically extended the suspension of a number of Federal agencies (shutdown) without approved funding.

January 8, 2019, US President Donald Trump made a special televised address to the Americans on the Shutdown, declaring the crisis on the border with Mexico. According to the head of the White House, it is a question of both security problems and a humanitarian crisis. Trump also expressed the hope that the government’s “shutdown” will stop. 

Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called on Donald Trump to reinstate the government and stop the “shatdown” to continue discussions on border security. 

Previously, the US government temporarily closed 18 times, the cessation of funding for government agencies in the United States lasted from one day to three weeks. 

Under US President Barack Obama, the suspension of the work of the Federal authorities due to the lack of budget occurred in 2013, lasted 16 days and cost, according to various estimates, $ 24 billion. In late September 2013, the budget and debt crisis erupted in the United States after the Republicans refused to vote to raise the 16.7 trillion of the national debt and the budget for the new fiscal year. 

As a result, many US federal agencies partially closed on October 1. About 800 thousand federal civil servants were sent on leave, another million worked without pay. 

The crisis was caused by disagreements over health care reform – one of the most important initiatives of President Barack Obama. Republicans refused to approve the budget without items on its abolition or postponement of time frame for entry into force. 

On the evening of October 16, 2013, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States passed a compromise bill providing for a temporary resumption of funding for state institutions and raising the debt limit to prevent default. The voting was completed less than two hours before October 17, the day when, according to the Ministry of Finance, the American treasury could not afford to fulfill external obligations. The document was signed by US President Barack Obama. 

Prior to this, financial “shutdown” in the United States occurred during the period of the presidency of Bill Clinton in late 1995 – early 1996 and lasted 21 days, becoming a record in duration. According to experts, Bill Clinton emerged victorious from this crisis – Republicans had to accept almost all of its conditions. In addition, the statement of the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Republican Newton Gingrich that the reason for the crisis was the allocation of an inappropriate place on board the presidential “number 1” cost a batch of rating losses. But most of all “shutdown” have shaken the faith of voters in the government. 

President Ronald Reagan set a record for the number of financial “shutdowns” – the government under him” closed ” eight times. The reasons were very different, but the time of termination of the institutions never exceeded three days.

Tom Tompson

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