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    What You Need to Know About US Government Shutdown

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The US government shutdown implies the suspension of the work of certain government agencies, financed directly by the US Congress, due to the failure to pass the funding bill for the next fiscal year.

    The suspension of financing does not mean the immediate closure of enterprises and institutions, some of which, for example, the US State Department, have unspent funds in their accounts that might be used for some time.

    Early on Saturday, the US federal government shut down due to the lack of funding after the US Senate Democrats prevented Republicans from passing the spending bill.

    READ MORE: US Gov't Shuts Down, White House Blames Dems Calling Them 'Losers'

    The United States is one of the few countries where the government cannot fully operate without a budget. Since the beginning of the fiscal year in October 2017, the US House of Representatives has already adopted four budget resolutions, with the last one extending the government financing until February 18. However, the Senate Democrats have blocked the proposed legislation, insisting on the inclusion of measures on immigration in the bill, to which the White House and Republicans are opposed.

    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the blame for the US government's shutdown after the failure to pass the government funding bill would entirely lie with US President Donald Trump.

    READ MORE: Trump on Shutdown: 'Democrats Wanted to Give Me a Nice Present'

    The US government has shut down for 18 times in its history, with budget funding gaps lasting from one day to three weeks.

    The last government shutdown took place in 2013 and lasted for 16 days. According to some estimates, the cost of the shutdown amounted to $24 billion.

    In late September 2013, the budget and debt crisis erupted in the United States, following Republicans' refusal to vote for the increase of the state debt ceiling for the next fiscal year. As a result, many US federal agencies partially closed down on October 1, 2013. Around 800,000 federal employees were furloughed, while another 1 million individuals worked without payment.

    READ MORE: #TrumpShutdown In Tweets On Inauguration Anniversary

    The crisis was triggered by disagreements between Democrats and Republicans on the US President Barack Obama's health reform. Republicans refused to approve the spending bill without the provision for the reform's abolition or postponement of its entry into force.

    On October 16, 2013, the US Senate and the House of Representatives adopted a compromise bill, providing for the temporary resumption of funding of state agencies and for increasing the state debt ceiling in order to prevent default in the country. The vote in the US Congress ended just two hours before October 17, when, according to the US Treasury Department, the country might have run out of funds to meet its external commitments.

    The record number of government shutdowns — eight — occurred during the presidential mandate of Ronald Reagan.

    Tags:
    spending bill, government shutdown, US Congress, U.S. House of Representatives, Republican Party (United States), Democratic Party (United States)
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