Government shutdown looming

The federal government has less than six hours to come to a budget resolution or the government shuts down.

Posted: Jan. 19, 2018 6:34 PM

WASHINGTON D.C. (WLFI) — The federal government has less than six hours to come to a budget resolution or the government shuts down.

That thought is lingering on the minds of many Americans.

News 18 looked at some of those concerns and what it really means for the average person.

The thought of a government shut down may sound scary.

But Purdue Political Scientist Jay McCann says while it's likely to happen, the short-term impact isn't much to worry about.

"It just shows a lot of gridlock in Congress and lack of ability to come to a consensus about keeping the government opens long term," said Lee Breece.

It's that gridlock keeping Senate Democrats and Republicans from coming to an agreement with the budget.

If it doesn't happen before midnight, the government will shut down.

The closure will fall on the one-year anniversary of President Trump's inauguration.

"The fact that this is happening so early on might be a sign that things are not necessarily going as well as they had initially intended," said Elizabeth Hintz.

One issue halting progress is immigration.

Democrats want a resolution when it comes to the Dreamers Act and aren't happy with what Republicans are offering.
"Enough Republicans in the Senate have said they're not going to vote for any sort of continuing resolution to keep the lights burning," said Political Scientist Jay McCann.

He says most people won't be directly affected by a shutdown.

Nonessential government employees would be furloughed and state parks would be closed.

VA Hospitals would stay open, we'd still get mail and social security checks would be distributed.

But that's for the short term.

"The longer things are shut down, the more services might deteriorate," said McCann.

The military is considered essential and would still report for duty.

But troops and veterans could potentially not get paid until the government is up and running again.

Purdue student Elizabeth Hintz hopes some compromise can be reached by midnight.

"The foundations of democracy depend on compromise and our ability to work out our differences. So if the government were open tomorrow, I think that would be a pleasant surprise," said Hintz.

If the government shuts down, McCann says people should call their local members of Congress and express their concerns.

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