Will the US government shut down?

With arguments over money, Medicare and Syria growing ever-more fraught, the bigger problem looming on the horizon is the potential for a government shutdown in the US. This could happen because, in less than two weeks, the American government will run out of money to pay it’s bills. With a new fiscal year beginning on Oct 1st, arguments over funding and the deficit in the US are huge. (See the post on the US Budget)

For your exam however, the ins and outs of the financial world are not what you are required to know. But we do explore the power of Congress and the President. The last time a full government shut down occurred was under Clinton in 1995/96. The cause of this shutdown was also caused in part by his push for wider medicare provision, a striking resemblance to the current arguments from the Republicans over Obamacare. During the shutdown, all government-run agencies and businesses were closed as Congress and the President tried to reach an agreement to find money to get the government running again. Clinton was very savvy however, and the media placed most of the blame on Congress. In this current instance, if Congress and the President let it go to a full shutdown, they have to be sure they will win the media war; this is far from certain for either party.