Here comes the shutdown: key points

Welcome to the government shutdown.

As of noon yesterday, there is hope that this shutdown of the government will not last very long (some are forecasting only one or two days). But Congress has proven to be quite unpredictable (and the situation could change at any moment). Plus, this battle is a precursor to the next big battle over efforts to raise the debt ceiling.

What impact will the shutdown have? Here are some of the highlights: the government shutdown will affect every department, agency and programme that relies on discretionary funding through the annual appropriations process; about 800,000 ‘non-essential’ federal workers will be furloughed beginning 1 October; and Congress has exempted most of the military personnel at the Department of Defense…

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