The United States is going into its third day of the partial shutdown.
Legislators in Washington D.C. continue to haggle over the specifics of a government funding bill. The new financial year began on the first of October. Since Congress had not passed a budget or a temporary stopgap measure, many federal programs deemed to be non-essential closed on Tuesday. Approximately 800,000 federal workers were laid off.
Some services, such as the post office, remain in operation because they receive their money from an independent source. Other government operations will continue to receive funding because they are written into permanent law. This includes the salaries of House and Senate members.
Many agencies have enough resources saved up they can continue to serve the public for a short amount of time, but operations are expected to cease once those funds run out. If the shutdown continues, many programs will run out of funding and be forced to discontinue services. Those include Women Infants and Children, the school lunch program, and disability claims and pension payments for veterans.
Senator Roy Blunt discussed the issue at his weekly press conference. Click to hear the audio from Wednesday:
The reason Congress could not agree upon a funding bill lies in the Affordable Care Act, which is frequently referred to as Obamacare. The Republican-contolled House added a measure to the routine funding bill that would defund the healthcare plan. The Democratic-led Senate stripped the measure from the bill and returned it to the House. No compromise has been reached, and the government will remain shut down until they can resolve their differences or pass some sort of budget.
Most Congressional leaders are addressing the issue. Representative Rush Holt, of New Jersey, laid out of guide of the ways everyday Americans are affected. Congressmen Emanuel Cleaver, Sam Graves, and Vicky Hartzler have all addressed the problem, as well as Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill.