The idea of a government shutdown has the nation rightfully on edge — not least because it’s looking increasingly like it may soon be reality. With Congress in disarray over a stopgap measure to fund the government through Nov. 17, federal agencies are bracing for a suspension of many government operations — some of critical importance to the institutions, programs and infrastructure undergirding American life and prosperity.
Some of the affected programs would include nutrition and immunization assistance through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children; food safety inspections through the Food and Drug Administration; and the operation of national parks and museums. The nation’s security may also be imperiled by a shutdown, says Stephen Flynn, founding director of the Global Resilience Institute — a fact defense officials have alluded to several times this week.
Flynn detailed the cascading effects of a potential shutdown on the nation’s defense and security infrastructure in a Q&A with Northeastern Global News. His responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.