Unless you live under a rock you know that Congress has decided, by inaction, to allow the US administrative services to be shut down. Most of us outside the states would have a hard time understanding that the government doesn't run the countries governmental functions. Most of the US services like IRS (Tax), FBI, NASA and so on are ‘executive' in that the President is the ‘Head of Government' as opposed to just ‘Head of State' (which he is as well). So the elected President is responsible for the services provided within the USA but he has no authority over the ‘income' nor in a way has the any authority over expenditure, except by veto, as the congress can vote any pork barrel measures it likes and generally the roll a whole bunch of stuff into one ‘bill' that the President can only veto as a whole thus subverting the veto authority of the President. Of course this is all done in the best interested of the people of America, heaven forbid that personal agendas could be involved.
Now Congress is unhappy about a provision which was previously passed by them, loosely called ObamaCare (people in Australia would consider it a cut back MediCare) that due to a change of the controlling party at the last election (like Abbott beating Rudd) they want to re-negotiate with the President. His opinion is that the law has been passed and if the new controlling party wants it changed they should follow the standard make a law, get it through the senate and then past the veto barriers. They know that it will not so instead they have pulled the carpet out from under the Unites States and are accusing the President of not being fair by not negotiating a resolution by conceding something to resolve the problem.
So congress has stopped the US government because it is unhappy with a law democratically passed and is basically acting like terrorists holding the entire country to ransom because they know that they can't reverse the measure using the democratic process. Surely they understand that? As the land of the free under a constitution surely they understand that they are usurping their own system. Don't they?
But the best bit is that after having almost a million people put out of work, oh sorry unpaid furlough, the have the unmitigated gall to class themselves as an ‘essential service' so that they continue to receive their pay, what a farce. Don't worry Australia's politicians are just as loose with our country as the band in Washington are with the USA. Any one for an elective monarchy?
See how much they have paid themselves since the shutdown here .. Congress Still Gets Paid