How The Partial Government Shutdown Could Affect You
Sunday, December 23, 2018
Photo by Carolyn Kaster AP
The partial shutdown of the U.S. government that began Saturday affects about a quarter of the government. About 800,000 federal workers will feel the effects as lawmakers try to come to an agreement on a set of spending bills to keep the government funded.
A central sticking point remains funding for President Trump's proposed border wall, and with the Senate adjourned until Thursday, there is no apparent quick end in sight.
As both sides work to solve the impasse, here is a rundown of what will and won't be affected by the shutdown.
What is still open and running:
Air traffic control, the TSA and Amtrak
Air traffic control and officers with the Transportation Security Administration will keep working in order to keep air travel running. Amtrak trains will also continue to operate as usual.
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid
People will continue to receive their Social Security checks, and Medicare and Medicaid will not be interrupted. However, new applicants to these programs might experience a delay before approval.
U.S. military operations will continue around the world. The budget for the Department of Defense has already been approved.
Customs and border agents will continue working along the border and at ports of entry.
The Mueller investigation
Special counsel Robert Mueller's office, which is looking into Russia influence on the 2016 campaign, is "funded from a permanent indefinite appropriation and would be unaffected in the event of a shutdown ... The appropriation bills before Congress do not touch the (special counsel's office)," a spokesman for the special counsel's office told CNN.
U.S. Postal Service
Post offices will remain open, and deliveries will continue during the shutdown.
Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo
The Smithsonian Institution tweeted that it will continue operation of its museums, research centers and the National Zoo through Jan. 1.
NORAD Santa Tracker
The military says its famous Santa tracker won't be slowed down by the shutdown because it is run by volunteers and funded by the Department of Defense's budget that was approved earlier this year, according to The Associated Press.
What will be affected by the government shutdown:
Some national parks will remain open but may reduce staffing. Facilities such as restrooms may be closed.
"At Yellowstone, Yosemite and many other major parks, the park service announced it would keep the access to parklands open, but many services, including restrooms, trash removal, some visitors centers and snow removal, would cease," The Guardian reports.
Small Business Administration guarantees to back loans will freeze for some business owners.
"Due to the lapse of government funding, SBA will remain inactive until further notice. We apologize for any inconveniences and we look forward to assisting you when we return," the agency posted on Facebook.
"Without workers there to process 7(a) loan applications, which help startups obtain financing, small business owners are forced to find capital elsewhere or wait until Congress and President Trump reach a budget agreement," USA Today reports.
State and local farm service centers
Those operated by the Agriculture Department will be closed, meaning that no staff will be able to assist farmers in signing up for programs under the farm bill recently approved by Congress, The Tennessean reports. The Farm Service Agency assists farmers, ranchers and agricultural partners through delivering U.S. agricultural programs.
Enforcement of fair housing, issuance of new development grants and housing quality inspections will be delayed. Loans for new homebuyers could also stall.
Crime victims and violence against women
"After about one week of a shutdown, the state Department of Commerce would stop getting federal reimbursement for programs that include helping crime victims, stopping sexual violence against women and preventing sexual assault," The Seattle Times reports.
Funding for the Violence Against Women Act has also stopped with the government shutdown.
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