What you need to know about the federal shutdown – if it happens

Since there was no vote Friday night, a federal shutdown has taken place. Here’s a look at what you need to know about the shutdown and what really happened, and what to expect.

CAPITOL HILL: The shutdown all boils down to the DACA deal. The DACA deal is the program that protects undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as kids, and Democrats won’t vote for a spending bill until there is a fix on the DACA program. Meanwhile on the floor, Republicans won’t agree to a DACA fix unless the Democrats give some border security enhancements including money for President Trump’s border wall.

Since the shutdown is effective until a bill is agreed upon, it is likely that the shutdown will last a lot longer than most people think. Nobody really knows how long for sure, and the house bill that passed Thursday only keeps the lights on until February 16th.

Back on the floor Friday night, disagreements were real between the Democrats and Republicans. Senators floated proposals to keep the government operating for three to four more weeks but those didn’t survive either. Sources close to the story say that a top senator stated, “had there of [sic] been a couple more hours, they would had struck a deal Friday night”, but they didn’t.

On Saturday, the Senate was back to work, but after a day of futility there was still no hope of a resolution to end the shutdown. Of course, most of Saturday was spent blaming each other for the shutdown, which will really be felt when federal governments stay dark and thousands of employees are furloughed on Monday.

Democratic Senate leader, Chuck Schumer pinned direct blame on the president, who said “Nobody wants to shut down the govt, not Dems, not the GOP. The only one who has ever rooted for a shutdown is @realDonaldTrump who said our country could use “a good shutdown” – only he could come up with that. But no shutdown can be good for the American people.”

“Negotiating with this White House is like negotiating with Jell-O, it is next to impossible,” Schumer told reporters. “The President needs to pull up a chair to end this shutdown.”

The next scheduled vote in the Senate is Monday at 1 a.m. Fact is, if no deal is made within the next 36 hours, the shutdown can last longer than anyone expects, especially in Washington.

“A top Democrat agreed to put the issue on the table to try to avoid a shutdown but that obviously didn’t help.”

In an interview with CNN’s Manu Raju on Saturday, Schumer said that only a broad deal on a range of issues would break the deadlock. “We need a good bipartisan agreement that allows us to get a good defense number, get a good non-defense number, get a vote on the Dreamers bill and get that done, and deal with the disasters, too,” Schumer said. “There’s a whole lot to do, and our Republican colleagues have sent us just a (continuing resolution) which doesn’t do the job.”

How will the shutdown affect you really depends on who you are. The mail will still carry on as usual because the US Postal Service is not funded by taxpayer dollars. The IRS will be furloughed, and citizens are still expected to file tax returns however, if you are expecting a refund, it may be delayed. Social Security is an essential service and checks will continue to be mailed out as usual. Food Stamps will also continue to be given out.

What it boils down to is only essential employees can continue to work and all non-essential employees will be furloughed. This means that all federal facilities will be shut down. That includes all federal landmarks, national parks, monuments, and federal government buildings.
To date, there has been 18 government shutdowns since 1976. The last shutdown was in 2013 and cost over 2 billion dollars.

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