The GOP is promising that a government shutdown will occur if ObamaCare is not immediately defunded and forgot about for the foreseeable future. As Republicans and Democrats continue to argue their way through a Washington budget, the GOP has said they will refuse to fund US operations because of the health care program.
Yes, it is absolutely true that some government employees could face unpaid furlough days, and, yes, it is true that the nation’s debt ceiling could be hit in October or November, but a shutdown of the entire government system is not going to happen overnight.
If a budget is not reached, the federal government will move into a “funding gap” once the continuing resolution expires on October 1.
According to the Congressional Research Service, funding gaps have been issued since the days of President Gerald Ford’s administration. In 1995 and 1996, the largest funding gaps in US history occurred as President Clinton and the Republicans fought over the US budget. Approximately 284,000 federal employees were furloughed during the Clinton-GOP battle, and 475,000 employees continued to work and were paid after a budget agreement was reached.
There is currently a federal law on the books that dates back to Ronald Reagan’s administration that ensure major government programs continue on during a funding gap. Even if those employees are furloughed, the services continue to operate as needed. The Antideficiency Act was amended in 1982 to ensure that “excepted” areas existed in the government that still received funds during a shutdown.
President Jimmy Carter added to the areas that would remain funded during a funding gap.
Government sectors that WILL be affected by a Government shutdown include National Park Service sites, visa and passport applications, veterans and military benefits (delayed not stopped), bankruptcy cases (suspended), payments to federal jurors (deferred), and some health research services.
While closing those services will not be ideal for some people who use them, it is hardly a full government shutdown.
When Bill Clinton and the GOP fought in 1995 and 1996, public outrage at both parties was enough to cause a quick turn around while settling budget arguments.
In the meantime, Sarah Palin is claiming that the GOP needs to “fight like a girl” if it wants to defund ObamaCare.
So will be have a full government shutdown over ObamaCare? It’s highly unlikely and even unlawful.