Government Shutdown 2011? – 16 Things You Need To Know
Is it actually going to happen? Are we actually going to see “Government Shutdown 2011”? Will the streets of Washington D.C. soon be eerily quiet as hundreds of thousands of federal workers are temporarily sent home? Right now Barack Obama, Harry Reid and John Boehner all say that they want to reach a deal and avoid a government shutdown, but the deadline is coming up fast. The current spending bill that the government is operating under expires at the end of Friday. If the Republicans and the Democrats do not come to an agreement before then, the U.S. government will “shut down” at 12:01 AM Saturday morning. The Republicans have proposed a plan to extend government funding for one more week so that negotiations may continue, but the Democrats have rejected it. Obama has summoned Reid and Boehner to the White House tonight in an attempt to hash out a deal, but most observers are not particularly optimistic. Sadly, government debt is going to expand at a mind blowing pace this year no matter who wins this battle.
Both sides are attempting to play political hardball. During the 2010 campaign, the Republicans promised to cut $100 billion from the budget for 2011 and they know that Tea Party activists are going to hold them accountable. The Democrats control the Senate and the presidency and they probably figure that when push comes to shove that many of the new, inexperienced Republicans in the House can be intimidated into giving in.
But in the end it really doesn’t matter that much who wins this battle. The Republicans are proposing $61 billion in budget cuts which would cut the budget deficit for 2011 by only 3.8 percent. The Democrats are proposing $33 billion in budget cuts which would cut the budget deficit for 2011 by just 2.1 percent.
Is that extra 1.7 percent really going to make a massive difference over the long run?
Of course not.
But right now Republicans and Democrats are both in the mood for a fight, so we really might actually see a government shutdown.
If the government does shut down, it probably won’t be for too long. The longest government shutdown of all time ended in early January 1996 and it lasted just 21 days.
So exactly what would happen if there is a government shutdown in 2011? If it does actually happen, the following are 16 things you will need to know….