Government Shutdown
Representative Eric Cantor walked past the media following a meeting with Republicans over the budget in Washington. (Photo by Doug Mills, The New York Times)

By Jocelyn Cattley

As we now start week two of the government shutdown, you probably wonder how this is going to affect you and the rest of the country. You may also wonder why the government shut down in the first place.

Here are some things you should know about the shutdown:
1.  368 national parks and monuments closed: Because national parks, park rangers, and other employees that work at the parks are run by the government, all national parks across the country are closed until the shutdown is over. You may have seen on the news that Yellowstone National Park closed its doors as well, due to the furlough of the workers there. Another national attraction to closed its doors is the World War II Monument in Washington DC; however, it did not stay closed for long, thanks to the veterans that forced themselves through the gates of the monument.

2. Furloughs Galore: Over 100,000 government workers are being forced to stay home from work without pay or benefits over the course of the shutdown. This includes the park rangers, the staff in DC, and other government workers around the country.

3. Democrats vs. Republicans: As of right now, Republicans want to defund the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, in exchange for dealing with the Democrats on opening the government back up. As no agreement could be met from the meeting that attempted to take place, we are now on a deadline of October 17 to either settle the debts that the U.S. currently has, or to raise the debt ceiling yet again.

Until both parties can come to an agreement on the debt ceiling and the Affordable Care Act, the government doors with continue to remain closed. Lawmakers project that they should come to an agreement before the deadline of the October 17 on the debt ceiling, but as for the other issues at hand, there may not be compromise for a while.