2011 Government Shutdown: What Happens During a Government Shutdown?

A government shutdown is looming large, but could be avoided through compromise, said Arizona Senator Jon Kyl (R) on Thursday night. Sen. Kyl went on Fox News to explain to Greta Van Susteren, and the American people, that the current budget crisis is less about money, and more about political posturing. “There’s a lot of politics in this,” said Kyl. “But there’s a way to compromise.”

Sen. Jon Kyl expressed a desire to see both Democrats and Republicans reach an agreement before a government shutdown comes to pass, which could begin as early as midnight April 9. So, just what happens during a government shutdown, exactly? Back in the mid-nineties, when America saw the last government shutdown unfold, we watched as tourism was affected, veteran services were cut, and financial confidence dropped. This time around, a government shutdown would mean not paying the troops.

2011 Governmetn Shutdown Deadline Looms: What Happens During A Government Shutdown?

Sen. Jon Kyl told Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren, “The military isn’t going to get paid.” Simple as that. This fact alone should make the thought of a government shutdown almost more than any self-respecting American could bear. Other areas that may be halted, scaled back or curtailed during a shutdown of the federal government include hiring of new federal employees, veteran services, tourism, social security claims, federal employee payroll, and federal funding to the states. Air traffic control, the postal service, emergency services and other critical services would not be affected.

Sen. Kyl (R-AZ) seemed hopeful a resolution could be reached, and acknowledged House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) “have a hard job”. He told Greta Van Susteren he hoped the warring parties could come up with the 218 votes needed to avoid a government shutdown before Friday night’s deadline.

If a 2011 government shutdown cannot be avoided, ABC analyst Rick Klein predicted to Van Susteren Thursday nigth that it will be a short-lived event, and spoke of the possibility in terms of hours or days. Still, if our military misses payday due to a shutdown, that may mean a missed mortgage payment back home. If military welfare services are scaled back, as they were in the 1995-96 shutdown, it means those who have served our country going without.

Even staunchly Republican Sen. Kyl admitted the current stand-off in the House is pure politics, so what gives? Do those in power care so deeply about defunding Planned Parenthood and NPR that they would deprive the troops? That they would allow for our struggling economy to suffer further potential setbacks, such as a drop in financial confidence, shirking our contracts, closing national parks and upsetting tourism?

If this is the case, shame on you who hold up the works. You do not represent the majority of thinking Americans, and we will all pay attention to who votes, and how.

Sources:

Fox News – Greta Van Susteren 4/7/2011 (televised)
Partially re-written from Examiner.com article by same contributor here