Government Shutdown: Why It Could Happen Oct. 1

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Government Shutdown: Why It Could Happen Oct. 1

Two Hoosier professors both say it's not likely. But, at least two lawmakers are working on a strategy.

WASHINGTON, D.C.--A government shutdown isn't likely, but has been threatened by Pres. Trump, if he doesn't get funding for a border wall between the United States and Mexico. Two Indiana professors said Wednesday that a government shutdown would happen if Congress and the president can't agree by the end of September.

By the end of September

"Fiscal year 2019 starts on Oct. 1. So, the Sept. 30, deadline is when the current spending bills will end," said Dr. Michael Frank, political science professor at Anderson University, also director of the Center for Public Service. "Congress needs to take action before Oct. 1."

Frank explained that 12 appropriation bills must be passed, and that Congress is already working on that.

The strategy

"The strategy for (Senate Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell and (House Speaker Paul) Ryan is to get the non-controversial stuff out of the way before Sept. 30, and save the more controversial things until after the mid-term elections in November," said Frank.

If they can't get a budget passed before Oct. 1, at least part of the government shuts down, said Chad Kinsella, political science professor at Ball State University.

"One of the most basic functions of government is that they have to produce a budget," said Kinsella. "It's concerning that regardless of who you hold accountable for this at any point in time, that the government can't produce a budget."

For the government to shut down, either the House or Senate would have to fail to pass a budget, or the president would have to refuse to sign it. Then the authority to spend money for some parts of the government, would be gone.

"If they don't have those 12 appropriation bills all done by Sept. 30, what they can do is a short-term or stop-gap spending bill. That's called a continuing resolution," said Frank. He said that would keep the government running at current spending levels.

Reversing it

For the government to open back up, it would take passing the appropriate appropriations bills or a continuing resolution.

Kinsella said during the last shutdown, the look to the rest of the world was not good.

"It was a little scary. China stepped in and said, look at our government. We don't have shutdowns. Democracy doesn't work. So, it's a bad thing for everybody and it's a bad thing for Democracy, I would say," he said.

Tomorrow you'll read who is affected by a shutdown and who gets paid and who doesn't.

PHOTO: CNN Newsource

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