Originally Posted by ravenheart
Yeah... the bit I don't get is, why?
A government shutdown happens when, for whatever reason, Congress can't pass the budget bill that funds the government for the fiscal year. If they don't pass the funding bill, then by law the government cannot spend taxpayer money, hence all non-essential personnel have to be sent home without pay until it's resolved. People who are in positions that are essential to safety or national security keep working and keep getting paid.
In this case, it was caused by the Republicans refusing to pass the funding bill unless President Obama's healthcare reform was repealed or delayed, and neither side is willing to budge.