Why are we about to get a government shutdown and what will happen?

The Senate is expected to block a temporary funding bill on Friday.
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What's happening?

The U.S. House passed a stopgap spending bill late Thursday night to hold off a government shutdown, sending it on to the Senate.

However, the New York Times reports that Senate is unlikely to pass a corresponding bill on Friday that would keep the government functioning until mid-February, meaning a shutdown is likely.

Why won't the vote pass?

To approve the stopgap, the Republican majority needs 60 votes, meaning it needs 9 Democrats on board to pass.

But Democrats are unhappy that this is the fourth temporary stopgap bill for the 2018 fiscal year and want the Republican-led House and Senate to come up with a long-term bill.

As CNN reports, Democrats want assurance of fixes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) crisis, as well as funding for the Childhood Health Insurance Program (CHIP), among other things.

What's more, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell is likely to need even more than 9 Democrats to sign off on the stopgap, as several Republicans have confirmed or intimated they would not sign off on a "continuing resolution" bill.

Among those planning to vote no are Sen. Lindsey Graham and South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds, who described the fact Congress has only got a budget act done on time 3 times in the past 44 years as a "terrible message to send."

What happens if the government shuts down?

Federal shutdowns are rare particularly when one party controls both branches of Congress and the presidency, and if it happens it would mean only "essential" government staff will continue to work.

That will include those working in the military, air traffic control and law enforcement, as well as staff who administer vital programs such as social security, Medicare, Medicaid and disability, The Hill reports.

People receiving these benefits should continue to do so.

The CHIP program however would shut down, with funding sent to states to cover it likely to run out by the end of Friday.

Other nonessential staff will also be furloughed – around 700,000 of them according to Al Jazeera.

This will result in the closure of National Parks, museums and monuments, as well as passport and visa processing if the shutdown continues past a few days.

Considering many of these workers will be put on leave without pay – and even essential staff aren't guaranteed full compensation – this will likely have a knock on effect for the economy.

The 16-day shutdown in 2013 cost the economy an estimated $24 billion.

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