Government Shutdown and What It Can Mean for You 

October 4, 2023

On September 28th, the federal government notified federal employees that a shutdown was seemingly imminent. However, on September 30th, the Senate approved a temporary funding bill extending the government’s operating budget for an additional 45 days. This has led to many conversations and left a lot of questions in people’s minds, most specifically: What does it mean for me if the government shuts down?

When the government shuts down, almost all federal employees would be sent home from work without pay, though some programs, such as Social Security and the post office, would not be affected as they are funded separately from the annual appropriations budget. Still, the impact of a government shutdown is far-reaching, with an estimated 2 million federal workers and 1.3 million active-duty military troops affected. 

Most of these workers would be sent home without any understanding of when they would be able to return to work. This includes approximately ⅔ of the IRS workforce. Some employees, however, will be forced to remain at work without pay, in order to support specific infrastructures related to public safety and national security.

If you’re not a federal employee or member of the military, what does this mean for you?

If the last government shutdown in 2018—which lasted for a record 34 days and involved only approximately 800,000 workers—is anything to go by, the disruption can have a significant effect throughout the nation. With less access to funds, the furloughed employees are less likely to spend in their communities, thereby impacting local businesses. As Representative Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA) recently stated to The Washington Post, “The natural reaction for most people is to pull back. You have this huge ripple effect from a shutdown that affects the economy at large.”

Additionally, it seems reasonable to expect increased delays by the IRS, and many other governmental agencies. As such, the IRS created a new contingency plan for the government shutdown, which you can read more about in this Forbes’ article by clicking here.

We can only hope that any impasse between the relevant parties is resolved as soon as possible and before the 45-day temporary funding ends, so that those most affected by the shutdown are able to remain at work and receive their income. If, however, a shutdown occurs and you are affected personally and need financial guidance on how best to navigate its impact, please reach out to your CJBS team member, today.

The CJBS Team