The U.S. Senate on Friday passed a budget bill that includes full funding for Obamacare, a law that many Republicans oppose even though it was duly enacted three years ago and has been found to be constitutional by the Supreme Court. The bill now returns to the House, and if House Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on a government spending bill by Monday night, then the U.S. federal government will go into a shutdown.
If that happens, on the night of Sept. 30, when the fiscal year ends, money will stop being channeled to various government agencies and the federal government’s authority to spend taxpayers’ money would expire.
Obama said on Friday that “political grandstanding has real effects on real people” and that a government shutdown would harm millions of people.
A shutdown would not affect “mandatory” spending like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, food stamps, national security programs, and a few others. But everything else, from the education department to national parks, would effectively temporarily shut down.
Government shutdowns are also very expensive -- a 21-day shutdown in 1995-96 cost the U.S. government $1.4 billion.