The Washington Post

Frequently asked questions about a government shutdown

The Federal Eye and colleague Paul Kane tackle some of the most probing questions regarding the possibility of a government shutdown in Sunday’s Post:

How long do they have to settle this?

The current funding resolution expires at midnight on April 8. So a shutdown would start Saturday, April 9. Since very few federal employees work on weekends, Congress could stay in session trying to finalize the spending plan to avoid a large-scale disturbance Monday morning.

The White House and congressional leaders are working on a deal that would slash about $33 billion from the federal budget, including $10 billion already cut by two other short-term measures, amounting to the largest reductions in U.S. history.

Several tea party-backed Republicans continue to favor a House-passed measure that would cut $61 billion in spending. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) may turn to moderate Democrats to help pass the compromise in the House, but such a move could compel conservative Republicans to vote against it.

President Obama said Friday it “would be the height of irresponsibility” to force a government shutdown, and urged all sides to quickly strike a deal.

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Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.

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