The federal government is (once again) headed for a partial shutdown on Friday unless Congress passes—and President Donald Trump signs—legislation to fund the government. Because spending bills require 60 votes in the Senate, Democrats are hoping to accomplish some longstanding priorities: a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program and community health centers, and several measures meant to stabilize the Affordable Care Act's non-group markets. But negotiations have been complicated by Trump's unexpected rejection of the immigration compromise reached last week by a bipartisan group of senators, as well as a series of early morning tweets sent Thursday morning:
In the absence of anything resembling a long-term spending compromise, GOP leadership in the House of Representatives proposed on Tuesday another stopgap continuing resolution; this one would fund the government through mid-February and fund CHIP for six years, a concession which is meant to win support from vulnerable Democrats in the Senate.
It's far from clear, however, if this plan has enough votes to pass even the House—where Democrats appear to be standing united against any spending legislation that doesn't include a DACA fix—let alone the Senate. Indeed, the odds of a government shutdown seemed to only increase on Thursday as a number of senators, from both sides of the aisle, came out against the continuing resolution (CR).
During a partial government shutdown, the most recent of which was in 2013, the government stops performing "non-essential" functions. National parks and monuments stop accepting visitors, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration delay inspections, and the Internal Revenue Service delays some of its services. The "essential services" that the government performs—things like law enforcement, air traffic control and security screenings, military functions, etc.—continue. Likewise, mandatory spending programs—Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, etc.—continue to disburse benefits, although new applicants may face processing delays.
With the fate of the federal government's functionality up in the air, here are the 13 numbers that tell the story of a government shutdown:
- 800,000: The approximate number of DACA recipients (or "Dreamers") in the United States at risk of losing their legal status.
- 16,000: The approximate number of Dreamers who have already lost their status due to the president's September decision to eliminate the program.
- 9,000,000: The number of low-income children who receive health insurance through CHIP. Funding for the program expired in September. While the December stopgap spending bill included additional funds for the program that were meant to last through March, a number of states will run out of funds in February.
- 24: The number of states that could soon face CHIP funding shortfalls if the program is not funded this month, according to a report published last week by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.
- 1,700,000: The number of children most at risk of losing their CHIP coverage in February, according to the same report.
- $6,000,000,000: The amount of money that the federal government would save by funding CHIP for 10 years, according to new estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. This is due to the fact that it's cheaper to cover kids via CHIP than via private insurance (which is expected to become more expensive now that the individual mandate has been repealed).
- 850,000: The peak number of non-essential federal employees that were furloughed (banned from working) during the government shutdown of 2013.
- $2,000,000,000: The amount of back pay that the federal government ultimately paid to federal employees who were furloughed (and thus, not working) during the 2013 shutdown.
- 660,000: The number of estimated Puerto Ricans still lacking power after Hurricane Maria hit the island last September. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) cited the CR's lack of disaster relief funds for Puerto Rico as one of the reasons he will vote against the bill this week.
- 9,000,000: The number of Americans, primarily low-income people in underserved areas, who would lose care if funding for community health centers is cut. Funding for the centers, which was increased under the Affordable Care Act, was in doubt for much of last fall, forcing many of the centers to lay off staff and even shut down. While the CR that was passed in December did contain some temporary funding for the centers, the legislation currently under discussion does not include a permanent funding fix for the centers.
"Health centers can't operate week to week or month to month," Dan Hawkins of the National Association of Community Health Centers told Governing magazine. "They have staff to retain and leases to hold."
Blumenthal cited the community health center funding issue as another reason he wouldn't back the CR.
- 120,000: The number of private-sector jobs that weren't created in October of 2013 due to the government shutdown.
- $2,000,000,000-$6,000,000,000: The amount of lost output in the fourth quarter of 2013 due to the government shutdown. This represents about 0.2-0.6 percentage points of lost gross domestic product growth during that quarter.
- $500,000,000: The amount of foregone spending by tourists in 2013 due to the closure of national parks and monuments, as estimated by the National Park Service.