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The Viking Press

The Student News Site of The Village School

The Viking Press

A Conversation About a Government Shutdown: Perspectives, Effects, and More

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In recent months, the United States Government has been facing a potential shutdown due to the failure of Congress to pass funding legislation for the upcoming year’s federal funding allocation. This possibility could lead to a full or partial shutdown which would affect  all federal agencies, such as the National Parks network, and federal jobs.. Thankfully, the Senate passed a stopgap bill on November 14, which averted the government shutdown…for now. But if you aren’t well informed on the situation at hand. Let’s begin discussing what a government shutdown entails.

What does a government shutdown mean?

According to Brookings a government shutdown is when Congress fails to enact the 12 annual appropriation bills. These bills involve the funding for the 12 appropriation subcommittees which are the federal spending programs such as: defense, homeland security, energy-water etc. This particular government shutdown is a little different than most as congress was deciding whether or not to raise the debt ceiling to fund these departments. If Congress hadn’t sought a temporary resolution, federal agencies would be forced to cease non-essential functions till Congress finds a solution. With the shutdown of federal agencies, there would be a widespread loss of jobs for government-hired employees. “Congress would be unable to find certain departments of government. This would cause a partial shutdown, and only agencies without the correct appropriations would have to shut down,” said sophomore Nirav Mandhani, a member of the Village School’s Model United Nations team. Today the problem is occurring because they (Republicans and Democrats) weren’t able to reach a vote to allow them to fund these certain departments. 

What do you know about the scare of a government shutdown?

“I don’t know if it should be considered a scare,” said Mr. Morgan, a Current Events teacher at The Village School. “It’s just, government officials got to get off their butts and actually do something about it (the government shutdown) … What’s most likely going to happen, in my estimation at least, is that because of all this Speaker of the House debacle, they are not going to have enough time to come up with a full budget to fund the government for the foreseeable future. They are probably going to make another resolution that’ll kick the can down the road until December, and then they will have to do something else,” said Mr. Morgan.

To clarify Mr. Morgan’s explanation, the upcoming scare of a government shutdown is a little different other shutdowns as it would affect all federal activities instead of just some like the last shutdown in 2019. This one is also quite controversial with the ousting of Kevin McCarthy, speaker of the house. According to CNN, originally, on September 30, a stop-gap bill was passed to extend the government funding till November 17. During this timeframe, the active Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, was ousted on October 3. Due to the issue of the speaker of the house being ousted, a lot of hesitation was created around how long it’d be for another speaker of the house to be elected. Thankfully, a new speaker was elected, Mike Johnson. According to NBC, Johnson has an interesting resume: he promoted the 2020 election denial aimed at keeping Donald Trump in power, he has a solidly conservative voting record, opposed abortion and LGBTQ+ rights, and he’s a relatively inexperienced speaker with only 7 years of Congressional experience under his belt (unlike McCarthy and Pelosi who both had 15+ years of experience). According to NerdWallet, Mike Johnson claimed that the House GOP conference “had a very refreshing, constructive, family conversation” on the options on the table to prevent a shutdown. He added that they would “be revealing what our plan is in short order.” Thankfully, According to NBC News, President Joe Biden signed off on the new stopgap bill on November 15. The bipartisan vote was 87-11 where 10 Republicans and one Democrat voted against the bill. This new bill would fund the government into the new year. This bill is designed to help buy more time for them to hopefully reach a complete deal on funding for the upcoming fiscal year. 

How could the government shutdown affect the students?

“For students here, you might not see a lot of change. However, let’s rewind 2 weeks when we were going on our class trips,” said Mr. Morgan. “If the government shutdown had actually shut down in October, it may have affected the Junior and Freshman trip because they went to national land. So, if the government shuts down we may not have been able to go there. The United States being shut down also has implications – there is the possibility that a shutdown could affect embassies. If they shut down the embassies then [there’s] the possibility that the process for kids or their parents who need to get or renew their visas might stop. If that process stops for however long the government is shut down, then it raises the question: do companies who brought over expats continue to expend resources or do they send them back?” 

Something else a government shutdown would affect is inflation. Inflation is something that America is rather familiar with since prices have been going up in food, products, and especially gas. The shutdown would cause Village, amongst other private schools, to potentially have to “raise” their employees to meet the new living standards. Thus, tuition could increase in the future, possibly causing students to transfer due to the higher price.

What strategies can be employed to prevent government shutdowns?

The issue of government shutdowns has been a problem for decades since our first government shutdown in 1981. The question that always comes up is, “How do we prevent this?” The most obvious strategy is to pass appropriation bills on time but that takes a lot of cooperation from both the Democrats and the Republicans 

“Realistically speaking, the main strategy I can think of is Republicans and Democrats getting along,” said junior, and leader of MUN, Aryan Shah. “There’s very little other things you can do to streamline the way the U.S. government works other than the two major parties actually being able to agree on something. I believe that the two-party system doesn’t work, but in terms of keeping with the status quo and trying to come up with solutions, it’s really them two (Republicans and Democrats) getting along” said Shah.

Another strategy is passing a bill that would automatically fund the government past spending deadlines like September 30. According to Politico, “It’s a longshot, but if passed it would amount to a permanent end to shutdown threats.” 

The possibility of a government shutdown is a scary and touchy subject. But, through these conversations with Nirav Mandhani, Aryan Shah, and Mr. Morgan, we have been able to dive deeper into the reality of this government shutdown and add some light to the situation.



Foran, C. (2023, November 14). House passes stopgap bill to avert government shutdown | CNN politics. CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2023/11/14/politics/house-vote-government-shutdown/index.html 

Vitali, A., Kapur, S., Kaplan, R., & Stewart, K. (2023, October 25). Who is Mike Johnson? Five things to know about the new Republican House speaker. NBCNews.com. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/mike-johnson-house-speaker-republican-nominee-what-know-rcna122114 

Wessel, D., Anna Malinovskaya, L. S., Moraa Ogendi, D. W., Klein, A., Sarah Kreps, A. R., & Darrell M. West, E. K. (2023, October 17). What is a government shutdown?. Brookings. https://www.brookings.edu/articles/what-is-a-government-shutdown-and-why-are-we-likely-to-have-another-one/ 

Wong, Scott, and Kate Santaliz. “Biden Signs Funding Bill, Averting a Government Shutdown.” NBCNews.Com, NBCUniversal News Group, 17 Nov. 2023, www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/senate-approve-funding-government-shutdown-stopgap-bill-rcna125325.

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About the Contributor
Jayden Goel
Jayden Goel, Writer
Hello, My name is Jayden Goel. This is my first year on the journalism staff as a writer for the Viking Press. I am a sophomore with an interest in basketball and dogs! I chose journalism as a new avenue for myself as I don't normally write. When I'm not doing schoolwork I'm listening to music, playing basketball, or spending time with my family.

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