Member of Congress will be fine.
The odds of a government shutdown are increasingly likely. As Republicans and Democrats find themselves at an impasse on immigration, the hope of a deal by midnight Friday to fund the government is fading fast.
A shutdown won’t really affect the politicians responsible for it — members of Congress, after all, keep getting paid when the government shuts down.
But what the 2013 government shutdown showed us is that some Americans really do suffer — specifically poor kids in the Head Start program; military families; and janitors, security guards and other low-wage federal contractors.
It’s hard to grasp how many programs and services across the country rely on funding from the annual spending bill that Congress passes. But in October 2013, more than 850,000 federal workers were furloughed for the 16-day shutdown, affecting services for all Americans in all 50 states. Only “essential” government employees were allowed to work: anyone whose job is a matter of life and death or an urgent public safety matter.
There’s no evidence anyone died as a result of the 2013 shutdown, though as Tom Frieden, the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Vox, “In practice it’s certainly possible. We didn’t have our systems fully up and running to assess that.”
But we do know it hurt many Americans who depend on services funded by the appropriations bill. Here are three groups of Americans who lost, and are likely to lose again if the government shuts down on Friday.
Low-income kids in Head Start
More than 6,300 low-income kids in six states couldn’t attend their federally funded Head Start preschools during the 2013 shutdown, according to a White House report. These Head Start centers, which rely largely on federal money, teach children early learning Read More Here