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In U.S. politics, a government shutdown is a situation in which Congress fails to pass authorization for sufficient funds for government operations. Typically, the government stops providing all but "essential" services at first, but since Congress must authorize all expenditures, there is no law protecting any government service from stoppage. Federal services that may continue for a time after a shutdown include the National Weather Service and its parent agencies, medical services at federal facilities, armed forces, air traffic management, and corrections (the penal system).