America’s third longest government shutdown, lasting 16 days from the start of October, was brought to a long-anticipated close just after midnight on Oct. 16th. Senate leaders convened and presented a resolution bill that, once signed by President Obama, reopened the federal government and offered a temporary solution to the government funding crisis.
Brought on by Congress’s inability to reach a resolution regarding the funding of Obamacare, the shutdown naturally presented unforeseen consequences. 800,000 federal employees were furloughed, or put out of work without pay.
It seems that the shutdown ended at the perfect timing; had it continued another day, the nation would’ve plunged into the abyss that is America’s debt ceiling. Even more traumatic, the department of Veterans Affairs would have been unable to ensure veteran’s monthly payments on Nov. 1.
Adverse economic effects also stemmed from the shutdown. In just the state of Maryland alone, they predicted a loss of $5 million per day in lost taxes. National parks were closed- painfully hurting the small businesses that made livings from the parks themselves. In an interview with NBC, Ceslie Brandon, the general manager of a Yosemite inn, commented on the common fear of bankruptcy that crossed many business owners’ minds, had the shutdown continued.
“If this is any indication of what’s to come, we won’t survive,” Brandon said.
Still, Secretary of State, John Kerry, addressed the crisis with optimism to leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.
“This is an example, really, of the robustness of our democracy,” Kerry said.
This legislative panic was partially a result of House Republicans’ determination to deprive the funding of the Affordable Care Act. Congressmen even filibustered, most notably Ted Cruz’s for 21 hours, to prevent any legislation from passing.
The Continuing Appropriations Act, the formal name for the bill signed that reopened the federal government, was a reformed version of an earlier bill. Republicans in the Senate had removed its mention of Obamacare but the President would not yield, nor would the butting heads in Congress. A much needed compromised was not realized until sixteen days into the shutdown.
The revised version of the bill, submitted on Oct. 16 as a resolution, ensured government funding until mid-January and Congress’s ability to end the suspended debt ceiling, returning the means and ability to continue working. Most enticing for citizens was the revision for the back pay, or reimbursement, of all 800,000 furloughed employees. With the new resolution, Americans and Congress are enabled to slowly but surely rebuild.