FIRST GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN : Since 1995/1996 under President Clinton
After the US Government went into a shutdown on 1st october 2013, and only essential services functioned for 2 weeks, the US Congress voted on the night of 16th October 2013, to avert a debt defalut and allow the government to work again.
The US financial year ends at midnight on September 30. Under US law, a new bill to approve funding for the next financial year must be approved by the House of Representatives, the Senate and the president before the financial year ends. This has not happened this year. In such a situation, the government does not have the legal authority to spend money and it is called a shutdown. The government stops providing for all but essential services such as police, fire fighting, social security and Medicare payments.
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