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How does the government shutdown affect civilians?  

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A man stands in Washington D.C. protesting the government shutdown. Many jobs were affected. There is still several issues in the government right now that are causing debate among lawmakers.

On Saturday, January 20 at 12:00 a.m EST, the U.S. government began a shutdown because Congress failed to pass a new funding law before the old one expired. It only lasted four days because the senate voted on the bill and it passed 81-18. The bill said that they would have to vote again in February.

Most government shutdowns happen because of budgeting. There have been 18 shutdowns since the modern budgeting plan began. On average, they usually last seven days, but the longest lasted 21 days.

Whenever a shutdown happens, many people wonder what it will mean for them. Most civilians will not be affected by the shutdown unless they are a federal employee. According to, “About 800,000 federal employees are not furloughed [temporarily released] and will not be paid.”

These groups include education, commerce, agriculture, labor, treasury, defense, energy, and others. Fireman still fight fires, but it’s not clear whenever they will get paid so there isn’t much motivation to work.

This was especially important as there were still wildfires while the shutdown was going on. National Parks are closed to the public as are zoos, but the animals are still taken care of. Policemen still work and the military will continue to fight in wars. One group that was largely affected by the shutdown was the National Guard. Their scheduled training has to be pushed back and changed to a different date.  

Even with the shutdown now being over, there are still many issues going on in Washington D.C. right now regarding immigration, budgeting, and much more.

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How does the government shutdown affect civilians?