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US Government Shutdowns For a Second Time in 3 Weeks

Updated : August 4th, 2020

For a second time, Congress pushed hard to reach a deal for government funding past midnight but failed. This has lead the federal government to a shutdown in just three weeks since the previous one. Senate had originally reached a deal the previous day, it focused on lifting spending caps and raising military spending and the bill was stalled in the upper chamber for hours. Kentucky Republican Rand Paul held up a vote to protest the increase in the federal deficit. Republicans held him responsible for grandstanding and for wasting their time.

US Government Shutdowns For Second Time in 3 Weeks

While the hours crept by to pass a bill, the White House instructed the Federal government to prepare to halt or scale back several functions. The failure to pass a budget bill has now become common in Washington. Earlier, this year the government had shut down for three days as Democrats blocked the bill to try and force a compromise. The Republicans pushed the government to shutter back in 2013 to try and undo Obama’s healthcare law.

As the deadline rolled by, Mr. Paul delayed a vote with a lengthy floor speech railing against an excess spending by the government. He expressed that his colleagues were abandoning their commitment to reducing the deficit and about the relentless spending on a perpetual war. He felt that his Republican senators were not on the same page against deficits like when they were against Obama’s deficits and claimed that this was intellectual dishonesty. Also, he suggested that the country is worth a debate till three in the morning before he concluded.

In a similar fashion, the budget bill awaiting votes could not replace the lapsed immigration program that is otherwise known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA). This afforded nearly 800,000 young immigrants’ protection from deportation and work permits. Trump has tried to end this initiative and has begun the suspension to push for a larger immigration deal.

Democrats looked to have a DACA fix as Congress passed a series of short-term budget bills. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took the floor and had a record eight-plus hour speech highlighting inaction. The Democrats forced a multi-day government shutdown this year by blocking the budget bill that simply left out immigration. The Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan promised a resolution to pass a new Budget Bill that would sidestep the issue.

How Does a Government Shutdown Affect You?

You should know that the Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration did not exist prior to 1995 when there were long-term shutdowns. Based on the suggestions by the Office of Management and Budget, the federal agencies maintain a contingency plan for dealing with government shutdowns. Usually, public services are the main agencies that affect you. Here are some of the services that might take a hit:

    1. Income Tax: IRS would stop refunds and processing paper tax returns.
    2. Social Security: No new applications would be accepted or processed but benefit checks would still continue to come in the mail.
    3. Welfare: Checks would continue but new applications would not be processed.
    4. Border Patrol: This will function without a glitch.
    5. National Defense: All armed services would continue duty but not paid on time.
    6. Mail: Deliveries would continue as the US Postal Service funds itself.
    7. National Parks and Tourism: These would probably be closed and visitors would be told to leave. Nonvolunteers and fire control would be shut down. Park police will continue as usual. Make sure you cancel your plans to visit Niagara Falls and the Statue of Liberty during the shutdown.
    8. Transportation: Air traffic control, Coast Guard, and TSA security personnel will remain in their jobs.
    9. Science and Technology: Due to the shutdown, NASA would be closed and that would mean that 85% of staff are furloughed. SpaceX Falcon 9 would not be affected as the launch would take place in March. EPA’s 14,000 employees will continue working as they have sufficient resources. NOAA has a shutdown except for the department that monitors hurricanes and flight planning.
    10. USDA: Food safety inspections will continue but farm credit, loan programs, and rural development will close down.
    11. Justice System: Courts will remain open and so will police and other law enforcement personnel.

Causes of the Government Shutdown

The US Constitution allows for all expenditures of federal funds to be authorized by Congress with the approval of the US President. The federal government and the budget process work on a fiscal cycle from October 1 to September 30. If Congress does not fail to pass the spending bills comprising of the annual federal budget or resolutions, then it will be forced to extend spending beyond the fiscal year. If the President signs or vetoes any individual spending bills, this may force the Federal Government to cease due to lack of Congressionally authorized funding.

History of Past Shutdowns

There have been six government shutdowns since 1981. Four of the last six government shutdowns were not regarded but the federal employees were affected. In the last two, the people did feel the pinch.

US_Partial_Federal_Government_Shutdowns

In 1981, President Reagan vetoed a resolution and 400,000 federal employees were forced to go home and not return after lunch. After a few hours, President Reagan signed a new version and had the workers back the next morning. Again in 1984, with no approved budget there were 500,000 federal workers that were sent home. Then in 1990, there was no budget or resolution, the government shuts down during the three day Columbus Day weekend. Most workers were off and after President Bush signed the spending bill and everyone was back on Tuesday.

In 1995 and 1996, there were two government shutdowns that began in November and idled at different functions of the federal government and also at different points in time in April 1996. These shutdowns were due to a budget impasse between Democratic President Clinton and Republican-controlled Congress.

Then there was the 2013 government shutdown for 17 long days from October 1 to October 16. This saw the shutdown of more than 800,000 federal employees because of disagreements between Republicans and Democrats over spending. It was only on October 17 that Congress faced a debt limit crisis and increased public disgust.

Finally, the first shutdown of 2018 started on January 20. This was due to the bill failing to pass Senate’s 50 to 49 vote with the majority of Democrats voting ‘No’. Issues that arose out of the immigration and funding DACA were of the primary concern. Currently, the second funding gap began at midnight on February 9.

As long as you have already submitted your unemployment claims, you would not have to worry apart from a little delay before it gets processed. Also, if you are already receiving unemployment benefits then you will continue to receive your checks in the mail. In a few days, all services will be restored and you will be able to access all government departments.

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  1. I had trouble getting my proof of self-employment to upload in secure file exchange and finally got it submitted by 12:06 am , 6 minutes late. What are the possibilities that they will deny it? I have received unemployment from March 2020 to some of Jan and some in Feb 2021. Most of Dec, Jan, Feb, March, & april were stopped for this proof of employment.
    Also, I see proof of Income as a 2nd issue but it is always on there. That was not on my TO DO list.
    I feel for u all on ID.ME…

    Anyone trying to reach UI, call their number, press 2 or 3 (questions abt filing a claim?) and then wait thru the message. At the end of it, u will be connected to a live person! I promise.. don’t push another button.. I’ve done it 4 times and it never failed.

    We lost our home, my ex took my child…. (kept her after a visit and called cps facilitating drama while the cops wouldn’t give her back without paperwork locked up in the court house..shut down for covid) I raised her by myself for 12 years & now she is with a violent alcoholic and parental alienating parent .. ….my dog, my 9-year sweet little best friend, was attacked, passing away 3 days later.. all in this time frame.
    But! It will all be ok. I have faith.

    Be grateful for your life and all that is in it today. What u dwell on daily will be your strength or weakness.
    Good luck to all of u.
    And thank you, Jeff, for responding out here. It is appreciated!
    Davulia S.

  2. I filed over two months ago. I have not received any information. My status says “pending resolution”. I have no way of contacting anyone. My position was eliminated at my job and I submitted the documentations online. I dont know what else I can do.

  3. I have been apply Ohio Pua unemployment since July 5th still pending issues. Upload what they ask for when ever I call says your case is in Adjudication. Very very frustrated, financially I am broke. Health issues. Waiting a long period.Don’t know what I will do ?

    1. Nafisa,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

    2. Same here since Feb 2021 turned in all the documents still pending issues 3 months now. When you call they tell you to be patient. Pulling my hair out it’s so frustrating.

  4. I was receiving PUA unemployment. they made me file for a new claim in February. Now I am in adjudication even though I gave all the same information from my previous claim. Have been adjudication since February and I call and they say they will put in a ticket to have an Adjudicator call me. Nothing. I am wondering If I can go down to to Maryland Unemployment Office and demand that someone talk with me to release my claim for payment. It’s been 56 days. I read that they have a maximum of 45 days.

    1. Luis,

      Your adjudicator may be inundated with pending cases. Please continue to follow up (if you have the contact details) or consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

    2. t sounds just like mine only im disqualified yet actie every till sept 4th . they haven’t asked me for anything! i file then its disqualified yet im told im ok and have nothing to do bit wait for an answer? answer to what? they switched my program and all and asked me to provide proof for a claim that wa denied al eady back in 2018! deny me once and then again perhaps? lol idk

  5. My mom had unemployment in Florida. She just recently moved temporally to California with a sister since she needs assistance, and now the website is telling her she cannot do anything because she is register in another state. Can she keep filing unemployment in Florida, even if she is living and register now in another state? how is the process to change the unemployment? I tried calling and there is no answer. Thank you!

    1. Stephanie,

      Please ask your mother to consider transferring the UI benefits from FL to CA (details will be available on either of the websites). If there are benefits weeks left in the account, she will be able to claim them.

    1. Leatha,

      UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment involuntarily and be able to and available for work.

  6. I lived in ga in 2019 and move to florida in 2020 and work for the xmas months in nov-dec. I was told to do a combine wage claim. my question is which state do i file the claim in?

  7. I filed for pua in Ohio back in October 2020.My claim has been in ajudacatuon since 11/1/20.So 2 to 6 weeks is a total understatement! When I call.i am told to basically hurry up and wait some more.I have recently been redetermined and my claim is allowed.but I have one pending issue.How long is too long?

    1. Nicole,

      Unfortunately, nobody has an answer. There are perhaps thousands of pending applications. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

  8. If you claim your weeks for unemployment and for the next 2 months you still have not received your money. Where can you go in volusia county to talk with a live person

      1. HI Jeff,
        I applied back in Dec 5th, 2020 and I haven’t received any correspondence, is there a local office that I can make an appt to make certain my claim is right.

        1. Adam,

          You can consider visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible (details will be available on the Unemployment Office’s website).

  9. On NYS DOL website, my claim is saying current yet the information is for my old claim with 0 days remaining despite receiving 2 weeks of payments on the new claim and I was able to certify last night. I haven’t received anything; no letters or emails.

  10. I was disqualified for UI benefits for not providing an ID and other forms of identification. How do I fix this?

        1. Gary,

          You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

    1. Hi Mike, I’m in NYS and was at the end of my BYE on 3/14, I was still certifying but wasn’t getting paid. I found out I had to file a new claim because my other was exhausted. I’m still waiting on approval. Maybe you have to file a new claim. I hope this helps.

  11. They say 2-6 weeks it’s more accurate to say 2-6 months; and when you call many of them are rude and unwilling to assist!

  12. someone needs to look into Sharon L. Anton gillette, wyo. or dickinson, nd she is a fraud and has done so many fraudulent things and please look into her

    1. Annette,

      Please report it to the Fraud Division of the Unemployment Office in your state. You can report on the website.

  13. I worked part time for thee years here in florida. I’m currently not working. I’m also retired and collects social security.
    My question is
    Am I qualified to file for unemployment ?

    1. Ruby,

      To be eligible, you’re required to have sufficient hours and earnings. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website.

  14. So adjudication takes 8 to 12 weeks. Oh okay, that explains why I havent received payment since July. That surely helps just like the rest of the information that you give. And by the way. What’s the NEW reason you can’t get through to the Call Center.

    1. Maria,
      I have gotten through to the call center (live agent) every time i’ve tried calling within the last 2 weeks. The number to a live agent (follow the prompts carefully) is (667)-207-6520. i have gotten through within 10 to 15 mins with each call i had made!

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