Government shutdown review: the rundown on the shutdown in plain English

After three days of deadlock, President Donald Trump signed a bill on Monday temporarily ending the government shutdown until Feb 8.

The shutdown began on Friday at midnight when a new budget bill failed to pass the Senate. This first bill would have extended government funding for another four weeks while congress worked on a permanent appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018.

A majority of congressional Democrats took a stand and voted against the first temporary bill on the grounds that the issue of immigration, specifically the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, needed to be included in the new funding legislation.

However, congressional Republicans disagreed with linking DACA to the bill or addressing immigration at the time. When the two parties failed to reach an agreement by the Jan 20 budget deadline, all non-essential government functions were shutdown. This was the first government shutdown of Trump’s presidency and approximately 800,000 civilian government employees were placed on furlough for one day.

On Monday, the House and Senate voted in a second version of the temporary bill. This bill extended government funding for three weeks and guaranteed that furloughed employees would receive compensation.

This bill also reauthorized the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), an Obama-era program that provides low-cost health coverage to over five million children in families that do not qualify for Medicaid, that lost funding four months ago.

Congressional Democrats voted in favor of the new version of the bill after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised immigration reform legislation and a vote on a DACA bill.


“Should these issues not be resolved by the time the funding bill before us expires on Feb. 8, so long as the government remains open, it would be my intention to take up legislation here in the Senate that would address DACA, border security and related issues as well as disaster relief,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

If a permanent government appropriations bill and DACA legislation are not voted in by the Feb 8 deadline, the government could shut down again.