WASHINGTON — A federal government shutdown could take place at midnight on September 30.
That is, unless Congress passes a Continuing Resolution to keep federal operations funded, which is looking increasingly questionable.
The nation has been down this road before. According to the House of Representatives Archives, there have been 20 government shutdowns since 1977.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the effects of the 34-day partial shutdown in 2018 and 2019 delayed approximately $18 billion in federal discretionary spending.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) has introduced the "End Shutdowns Act," a bill to prevent government shutdowns "and the senseless pain they inflict on federal employees, government contractors, and millions of Americans who rely on government services."
"It would just state that if we reach the end of the fiscal year without a budget, that we would move immediately into a continuing resolution that would continue the existing year's budget, but it would make it hard for either house to take up non-budgetary matters," he said.
Sen. Mark Warner is still hopeful that another shutdown can be avoided.
"We will take it on the chin. It will hurt our economy. It will disrupt Virginians' lives. This makes absolutely no sense," he said.
The top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee said a shutdown would harm military families' finances.
Rep. Adam Smith (D-Washington) said if a shutdown happens, "troops literally don't know when they're going to get paid again."