Breaking Down the Shutdown

POLITICS

It’s the 123rd birthday of Yosemite National Park. To celebrate, visit a national park, a system called “America’s Best Idea.” Oh, wait. YOU CAN’T.

A government shutdown is now upon us. The House and Senate couldn’t agree on a bill to fund the government, and time has run out. So . . . what does this mean? (Washington Post)

Use our resources to get an idea about what government is and what it funds in the U.S.

Happy Birthday, Yosemite! You don't look a day over 122. Too bad no one can come to your party. Photograph by Charles Martin, National Geographic
Happy Birthday, Yosemite! You don’t look a day over 122. Too bad no one can come to your party.
Photograph by Charles Martin, National Geographic

Discussion Ideas

  • Can you think of some activities typical Americans won’t be able to do during the federal government shutdown?
    • go camping, hiking, or sight-seeing in a national park. They’re all closed.
    • get a flu shot from the Center for Disease Control. That program has been furloughed.
    • get food assistance. The USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) has been furloughed.
    • get help from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (welfare). States may pick up some funding, but it’s up to those states.
    • enroll in a new Head Start program. The program has cut all new funding.
    • get a student loan or Pell grant. Those programs have not been furloughed, but their payments have been slowed.
    • follow Curiosity, the Mars rover. About 98% of NASA will be furloughed, and its livestreams are dark.
    • get a federally backed mortgage (help to buy a house). That program has been furloughed.
    • visit one of the Smithsonian Institution museums. They’re all closed.
    • get or renew a passport or visa. That program has been suspended.
    • watch the adorable baby panda at the National Zoo on its panda-cam. That livestream is dark. (Although the zoo personnel taking care of the pandas and other animals are “essential”.)
    • get a firearm permit. That program has been furloughed.
    • adopt a wild horse or burro. That program has been furloughed.
    • collect a disability claim from the Department of Veterans Affairs (if the shutdown lasts more than a couple weeks)—that’s right, this guy might not be getting paid, but Congress will.

3 thoughts on “Breaking Down the Shutdown

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