What to Expect During the Government Shutdown

After several debates, arguments, and accusations the government shut down on Friday at midnight, just a few days before Christmas eve.

On Wednesday night the Senate passed a stopgap bill that would avert a government shutdown but would not fund the 5.8 Billion needed for a border wall, one of Trump’s most iconic 2016 campaign promises. The bill, however, would have agreed to 1.3 billion to be used for funding fencing and border security.

On Thursday night, a divided house of representatives voted along party lines a stopgap bill that approved the necessary 5.8 billion for a wall, moving the country to an almost assured government shutdown. Most congressmen then quickly skipped town.

Since then it’s been a couple of days of finger-pointing and midnight twitter rants but what does the partial shutdown mean for you and what can you expect?

What will stay open?

Congress passed several bills earlier this year that included $900 billion of funding to key federal departments such as Labor, Education, Veterans Affairs and the legislative branch. These will remain unaffected as well as social security and Medicare.

Schools will remain open nation-wide, but the department of education will stop many of its operations.

Airport employees will continue to work throughout the shutdown and flight safety will not be affected.

United States Post offices are independent agencies and will remain open to deliver mail through the holidays.

Automated processes from the Internal Revenue Service such as returning and accepting payments will continue but IRS assistance centers will most like shut down.

Nine Departments will shut down causing several federal employees to work without pay

The Treasury Department, Department of Agriculture, Homeland Security, the Interior, State, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Commerce, and Justice have all shut down since Friday leaving those federal employees without work. However, federal employees that jobs are deemed necessary, such as U.S customs, T.S.A., and Border patrol agents, are forced to work without pay.

The Huffington Post noted that due to the shutdown the U. S. Geological Survey website was not able to provide the proper data of the tsunami that struck Indonesia and killed at least 220 people.

Some National parks could be open, but most will be closed

Because funding will not flow from the Department of Interior, officials have instructed national parks to cancel its services over the holidays, which includes restrooms and information centers. Park staff will not be present, but the parks should remain open.

Other fundamental tourist attractions such as the Grand Canyon should remain open due to allocated state funding after the January 2018 shutdown. The Smithsonian museum is also looking to gather the funds to remain open, staff said in a tweet.

Passport expired?

If you haven’t renewed that old passport then you shouldn’t book any trips until the government is up and running again. Funding for the state department expired on Friday so those essential services are unavailable.

380,000 federal employees on leave of absence

Hundreds of thousands of employees will be unable to go to work during the holidays and will be unable to do so until the government opens again.

Both the house and senate adjourned late last week and will begin a new session on Dec. 27th.

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