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Shutdown Enters Second Day, Trump Suggests ‘Nuclear Option’

Republicans and Democrats seem to be digging in, not coming closer to compromise.

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Editor’s note: This story was updated on Sunday, January 21 to include new information.

As the government shutdown enters its second day, President Trump waded into the fray on Sunday morning via his preferred method of communication, Twitter.

The president is referring to that fact that Republicans could vote to change laws to require just a simple 51-vote majority to pass a spending bill, but both sides seem to realize that would bring widespread scorn from voters.

Under the Congressional Budget Act, fiscal work is to proceed in an orderly, systematic manner every year. When funding for bills expire and Congress and the President fail to pass a new bill by a deadline, a government shutdown occurs. That deadline was Friday night. Without the 60 votes needed to advance the bill, the United States government has officially shut down.

The constitutional basis for this decision can be found in Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution, which states that,”No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” This is enforced by the Antideficiency Act to prevent making expenditures in excess of amounts available in funds.

Until Congress is able to agree on a bill for the federal budget, the government will remain shut down. So what does this mean for everyone else?

Thousands of federal employees that are considered non-essential will be furloughed. However, being part of the essential group of workers does not necessarily mean you get paid. The military is considered essential, but members of the military will potentially be working without pay depending on how long the government will remain shut down.

Other essential services such as Social Security, air traffic control, and the Transportation Security Administration will also continue to operate.

National parks, zoos, and museums may be closed during the shutdown.

The opinions of the government shutdown vary greatly. Sen. Jim Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, accused Democrats of shutting down the government in an attempt to tarnish President Trump’s reputation on his inauguration anniversary. Rep. Dan Kildee, a Democrat from Michigan, states that, “We just want a seat at the table.”

Of course, opinions on the shutdown is making its rounds on the internet as well.

The pressure is on to bring the government back into action as soon as possible. The shutdown of 2013 only lasted 16 days, but it resulted in federal workers collectively missing 6.6 million days of work, costing the government about $2.5 billion in lost productivity. How long this shutdown will last depends on how long it takes for Congress to get it together.

Arianna is a student at Penn State University. She has written for various websites, including Thought Catalog and The Odyssey Online. Arianna also runs her own blog called Yoga With Mimosas in which she combines her passion for fitness and writing in hopes of inspiring and empowering others through her work. You can reach her at arianna@yogawithmimosas.com.

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