Discussion Talk Stuff

Sunday Discussion: Why The US Government Is Always Shutting Down

Welcome to the Sunday Discussion segment! Each week here on Geek Alabama, Sunday Discussion will feature a serious topic that needs to be featured and talked about. You can “discuss” it on your own social media networks as comments are banned here on Geek Alabama.

Towards the end of every year the countdown until the United States government goes into a shutdown begins. Congress and the President usually avoid it in the last hour, but sometimes they don’t manage to agree on a spending bill and the government actually shuts down. The US is really the only country that does this.

The longest one in history, in 2019, lasted 35 days. Federal workers — and many contractors — didn’t get a paycheck for 35 days. Some of those employees were furloughed, meaning they didn’t have to go into work, but more than half of them still had to go into the office unpaid.

So… why? It goes back to the Constitution and how the federal government funds its agencies. Vox talks to a law professor and workers who have been through a shutdown to explain.

Rate This Post