Government Shutdown

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Definition of 'Government Shutdown'

A government shutdown is a temporary cessation of government activities due to the failure to pass a budget. Shutdowns occur when Congress and the President are unable to agree on a budget, which is a spending plan for the government. The shutdown can affect all or part of the government, and can last for a few days or weeks.

There are three main types of government shutdowns:

* **Partial shutdowns:** These occur when only some parts of the government are affected. For example, a shutdown could affect only the Department of Defense or the Department of Homeland Security.
* **Full shutdowns:** These occur when all or most of the government is affected. A full shutdown can have a significant impact on the economy, as it can disrupt government services and delay payments to contractors.
* **Protracted shutdowns:** These are shutdowns that last for an extended period of time. Protracted shutdowns can be particularly damaging to the economy, as they can lead to uncertainty and instability.

The last government shutdown occurred in 2018-2019. The shutdown lasted for 35 days, and was the longest in American history. The shutdown had a significant impact on the economy, as it caused government agencies to close and delayed payments to contractors.

There are a number of factors that can contribute to a government shutdown. These include:

* **Political gridlock:** When Congress and the President are unable to agree on a budget, a shutdown is more likely to occur.
* **Economic conditions:** A recession or other economic downturn can make it more difficult for Congress and the President to agree on a budget.
* **Public opinion:** If the public is not supportive of a budget, it can make it more difficult for Congress and the President to reach an agreement.

Government shutdowns can have a number of negative consequences. These include:

* **Disruption of government services:** A shutdown can disrupt government services, such as the issuance of passports, the processing of Social Security benefits, and the operation of national parks.
* **Delays in payments to contractors:** A shutdown can delay payments to contractors, which can have a negative impact on the economy.
* **Uncertainty and instability:** A shutdown can create uncertainty and instability in the economy, as businesses and individuals may not know what to expect.

Government shutdowns can be avoided if Congress and the President are able to agree on a budget. However, this can be difficult, as there are often many competing interests involved. If a shutdown does occur, it is important to understand the potential consequences so that you can be prepared.

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