Government Shutdown: How it Affects the Construction Industry Part 1

On the heels of the recent government shutdown, our Miami construction lawyers know that it was an inconvenience to millions. We are certain that the construction industry was anxious about the effects it would have on their livelihoods. This three-part article will discuss government shutdowns and their impact on the construction industry. Be sure to read part two and part three to learn more.

What’s a Government Shutdown?

A government shutdown occurs when Congress and/or the President fails to come to an agreement on funding a bill. The government shutdown is a big deal—especially for federal workers; however, the entire government does not shut down. Critical activities such as law enforcement activity, social security, and military jobs continue. What the government deems as “nonessential” work cease. Employees with “nonessential” jobs are placed on a furlough and are not paid until the shutdown is resolved. Essential employees will continue to work, but without pay until the government reopens.

A Look at the Past

Government shutdowns are nothing new. About 18 have occurred in American since 1976, but the more recent ones are the most memorable. The longest shutdown lasted 21 days occurring December 16, 1995, to January 6, 1996. Seventeen years later, the Republican’s desire to delay or defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) led to a government shutdown. The shutdown occurred October 1-16, 2013. Employees placed on furlough totaled about 40 percent of the federal non-military job force. The shutdown cost around $20 billion.

What’s Happening Now

Five years later, the government entered another shutdown which occurred midnight January 20 and ended January 22, 2018. At the center of the shutdown are disagreements on issues like immigration, children’s health, and military spending. There has been a long-standing dispute between the Democrats and Republicans regarding Trump’s ending of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) program which leaves young immigrants (known as Dreamers) without legal protection from deportation. More information about DACA can be found on the U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

The good news is that the shutdown did not carry on and cause damage to both parties. The House of Representatives passed a bill to reopen the government and President Trump signed the bill to end the shutdown, which allowed workers to return to work January 23, 2018. The passing of the bill will continue to fund the government until February 8 to negotiate an agreement concerning the fate of the Dreamers.

If you would like to speak with a Miami construction lawyer, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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