Scrolling Headlines:

Small-ball lineup sparks UMass men’s basketball comeback over Saint Joseph’s -

January 14, 2018

UMass men’s basketball tops St. Joe’s in wild comeback -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s track and field have record day at Beantown Challenge -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s basketball blows halftime lead to Saint Joseph’s, fall to the Hawks 84-79. -

January 14, 2018

UMass hockey beats Vermont 6-3 in courageous win -

January 13, 2018

Makar, Leonard score but UMass can only muster 2-2 tie with Vermont -

January 13, 2018

Pipkins breaks UMass single game scoring record in comeback win over La Salle -

January 10, 2018

Conservative student activism group sues UMass over free speech policy -

January 10, 2018

Report: Makar declines invite from Team Canada Olympic team -

January 10, 2018

Prince Hall flood over winter break -

January 10, 2018

Minutemen look to avoid three straight losses with pair against Vermont -

January 10, 2018

Men’s and women’s track and field open seasons at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2018

Turnovers and poor shooting hurt UMass women’s basketball in another conference loss at St. Bonaventure -

January 8, 2018

Shorthanded, UMass men’s basketball shocks Dayton with 62-60 win -

January 7, 2018

Northampton City Council elects Ryan O’Donnell as new council president -

January 7, 2018

UMass power play stays hot but Minutemen lose 8-3 to UMass Lowell -

January 7, 2018

UMass hockey falls to UMass Lowell in 8-3 blowout -

January 7, 2018

UMass hockey falls short against Yale in 5-3 loss Friday -

January 5, 2018

Otis Livingston II, George Mason drop UMass men’s basketball 80-72 -

January 3, 2018

Johnston: UMass fails to earn first conference win against George Mason -

January 3, 2018

What to know about the possible partial government shutdown

As Congress continues to argue over the budget, the possibility of a partial government shutdown looms over the nation.

kynan tait/ Flickr

The 2013 fiscal year ends at midnight on Monday, and if a budget cannot be agreed upon and signed by President Obama by then, some programs will end on Tuesday and cannot resume until a budget is agreed upon.


Question: Will the entire government grind to a halt on Tuesday?

Answer: Not quite. All but “essential” services will stop functioning. Programs that are funded automatically each year, such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, will escape major cuts. But agencies that require Congressional appropriations every year, from the Pentagon to the National Park Service, will suffer from the partial government shutdown.

Federal agencies have been working over the past couple weeks to determine which functions are “essential” and which may be cut if a government shutdown occurs. “Essential” functions primarily include roles that protect public safety, critical foreign relations and protecting property. Employees who perform these functions will continue to get paid, such as the military, police and firefighters.

What closes and what stays open is officially decided by the Office of Management and Budget, so it remains unclear exactly what will continue to function. USA Today predicts that 41 percent of non-defense employees will be furloughed, or stop getting paid.


Q: If this is such a big deal, why have Congress and the President not done anything about it?

A: They have been trying, but the problem is partisanship. Republicans see one solution to the problem and Democrats see another, as it is with many other issues as well.

On Sept. 20, the House approved a temporary solution to the budget crisis, or a continuing resolution (CR), that would have extended the deadline until mid-December. The problem with this solution, however, was that it would have to cut funding necessary to implement the Affordable Care Act, scheduled to start on Tuesday, and Democrats did not approve of this.

The Senate rejected the Sept. 20 CR and approved a different CR on Friday that would have continued funding to the Affordable Care Act.

Over the weekend, the House approved another CR, cutting some of the funding for the Affordable Care Act again. The Senate will reconvene at 2 p.m. on Monday to review the new House-approved CR.


Q: How long would the shutdown last?

A: It is impossible to know until it ends. The longest shutdown was in Dec. 1995 to Jan. 1996 lasting 21 days, but the shortest have lasted only one day.


Q: So government shutdowns have happened before?

A: There have been 17 government shutdowns since 1976. The most recent government shutdown was in 1995-1996, which came after a previous five-day shutdown in Nov. 1995. A disagreement between former President Bill Clinton and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich over government spending cuts was the cause of these shutdowns.


Q: Will classes be cancelled at the University of Massachusetts during a government shutdown?

A: During the shutdown from Nov. 13 to Nov. 19, 1995, the University remained open, so it is most likely that in a government shutdown, UMass would remain open and classes would continue.


Q: How will student loans be affected?

A: Immediately, student loans will not be affected by a government shutdown. A prolonged shutdown, however, could spell trouble for those receiving Pell Grants and Direct Student Loans because there would not be enough personnel to process the paperwork necessary for the loans. Payment would be delayed for some loans. Overall, however, loans would continue to be paid out because of permanent and multi-year appropriations.

Q: So what exactly will a government shutdown affect?

A: On Friday, the Interior Department announced that all national parks and federal wildlife reserves would be shut down for the duration of a government shutdown. During the shutdown in the mid-1990s, about 9 million people were turned away from museums, national parks and monuments run by the National Park Service.

About 40 percent of the United States’ 2 million federal employees would be furloughed. In the past, lost pay has been restored to workers retroactively but there is no guarantee that the government will do the same this time around.

Active-duty military personnel will remain on duty but will not be paid until a deal is approved by Congress and signed into law by the president. The majority of civilian employees of the Defense Department will be furloughed, except for active National Guard units, who must continue to work.

Delays in processing paperwork for passport and visa applications, gun permits and mortgage applications are also possible.

Staffers for Congress and the White House may also be required to stay home, but President Obama and members of Congress are exempt from furloughs.


Patrick Hoff can be reached at

One Response to “What to know about the possible partial government shutdown”
  1. mike says:

    Wrong. Military will still be paid

Leave A Comment