How a Government Shutdown Works, and More from CRS

12.01.17 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Short-term funding of the government is currently set to expire on December 8. If funding is not extended by Congress, then most government operations would have to cease.

The processes and procedures by which such a shutdown would be executed, as well as its broader implications, were described in a newly updated report from the Congressional Research Service.

“Government shutdowns have necessitated furloughs of several hundred thousand federal employees, required cessation or reduction of many government activities, and affected numerous sectors of the economy,” the CRS report said.

“The longest such shutdown lasted 21 full days during FY1996, from December 16, 1995, to January 6, 1996. More recently, a funding gap commenced on October 1, 2013, the first day of FY2014, after funding for the previous fiscal year expired.” It lasted 16 days. See Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects, November 30, 2017.

And see, relatedly, Funding Gaps and Government Shutdowns: CRS Experts, November 28, 2017.

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Other new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following.

Deficits and Debt: Economic Effects and Other Issues, updated November 21, 2017

The Trump Administration and the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, November 29, 2017

Nuclear Energy: Overview of Congressional Issues, updated November 27, 2017

Repair or Rebuild: Options for Electric Power in Puerto Rico, November 16, 2017

Federal Role in Voter Registration: The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and Subsequent Developments, November 28, 2017

Social Security Primer, updated November 30, 2017

Reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the 115th Congress, updated November 30, 2017

Statute of Limitation in Federal Criminal Cases: An Overview, updated November 14, 2017

Contested Elections in Honduras, CRS Insight, November 30, 2017

Colombia: Background and U.S. Relations, updated November 14, 2017

Iran’s Expanding Economic Relations with Asia, CRS Insight, November 29, 2017

New Zealand: Background and Bilateral Relations with the United States, updated November 13, 2017

Federal Disaster Assistance: The National Flood Insurance Program and Other Federal Disaster Assistance Programs Available to Individuals and Households After a Flood, updated November 28, 2017

Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress, updated November 30, 2017

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background and Issues for Congress, updated November 30, 2017

Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Hypervelocity Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress, updated November 30, 2017

Killing Endangered Species: What’s Reasonable Self-Defense?, CRS Legal Sidebar, November 29, 2017

Who’s the Boss at the CFPB?, CRS Legal Sidebar, November 28, 2017