This is officially the 22nd day of the longest government closure ever undertaken – and its effects are becoming more evident.
The deadline of December 21 to finance part of the government, including the State Department, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Agriculture. Interior, is over – and lawmakers are still trying to understand it some sort of deal. (Other agencies have already been fully funded, including the Department of Health and Human Services.)
As it stands, Congress still has to pass seven spending bills, including the controversial Homeland Security Credits Bill, which governs the funding of border security and a possible wall.
As many agencies have already been funded, only about a quarter of public authorities are affected, unlike previous massive closures of January 2018 and October 2013. Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands of employees have been dismissed and will likely receive salary arrears after the fact. Some services have already stopped and others should be reduced.
Here is an overview of some of the things that will and will not be affected by the partial shutdown.
What is still working?
Since about three-quarters of the government is funded by existing bills, many services should remain intact. Other "essential" programs will also continue to work.
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid
- Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are all meant to maintain their operations without interruption. All three programs are "mandatory expenditures" to which the federal government is committed – and are not affected by the annual appropriation process. (Medicaid also relies, in part, on state expenditures.)
- New applicants to these programs, however, may wait.
The US Postal Service
- Post offices will remain operational and mail delivery will continue. As Rachel Wolfe wrote for Vox, the USPS is funded by independent revenue sources, including the sale of products and services, so it is not affected by any type of closure.
Veterans Hospitals and Benefits
- The Department of Veterans Affairs has already received funding, so veterans hospitals will continue their day-to-day operations.
- Disability benefits and war veterans allowances are funded by their own legislation, separate from annual credit bills. They would therefore remain consistent, according to Military.com.
- Active members of the military are exempted from stopping breaks, in accordance with an emergency plan established by the Department of Homeland Security. In the past, Congress had had to adopt separate legislation to ensure that members of the armed forces were paid on time during arrest. Most military salaries have already been funded by bills early last year.
The Mueller inquiry
- Although Special Advocate Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russian interference in the elections and the Trump campaign is the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice, the credits will not be affected by such a stalemate, as it has its own source of ongoing funding, reports CNN.
- Border security is at the heart of the fight against closures of structures and much of the necessary staffing is on track to remain intact even in the event of partial closure involving DHS funding. The United States Customs and Border Protection is considered an "essential" service. As a result, the majority of its employees are exempt from permissions during the closure, even if they are likely to experience delays in processing.
As Bloomberg reports, "The overwhelming majority of Border Patrol, Emergency Management and Immigration-related Fighting personnel would be able to continue to do their job, although his remuneration be delayed "
Air traffic control and TSA
- Air traffic controllers under the jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration (under the Department of Transport) are considered "essential" and will continue to work during a partial shutdown.
- Similarly, Transportation Security Administration agents are also considered "essential"; therefore, air travel should not be disrupted on this front, according to USA Today. However, some TSA workers have started calling patients instead of working without pay, which could lead to blockages at airports across the country.
The federal judiciary
- The judiciary is able to continue operations for a short time after funding runs out using funds from various court fees, including "court case funds," according to the Congressional Research Service .
- In 2018, the judiciary said it has the means to keep its operations open for about three weeks, notes CRS.
- The federal judiciary has the means to continue operating normally until at least January 18. according to the Good Medical.
- The city now has more autonomy over its budget and should be able to maintain most of its services, despite its links to federal funding.
- At the 2013 closure, city officials had to scramble to ensure that DC had the money to keep it up and running, but since then Congress has approved measures to isolate the company. impact on the city in case of closure.
What could be affected by a partial stop
Each agency has its own emergency plan put in place in the event of closure, and some agencies, including the IRS and National Parks, could schedule breaks or service interruptions. In addition, as MarketWatch points out, the president is able to determine whether a service is "essential" or not. So it is possible to try to close an essential government function such as air traffic control if he really wanted to make a point.
- National parks – which are funded through the Department of the Interior – have long been one of the most visible government entities affected by a closure and many will remain open.
As at the closing of last January, a number of national parks are still accessible to visitors, but their staff is limited and access is restricted to various park facilities, including toilets. While waste and conservation concerns accumulate on many sites, the National Park Service will use entry fees to cover the cost of some services at its popular sites, reports the Good Medical.
- Visitors can view and check the status of different national parks in the National Parks Index here.
- The Smithsonian operated its museums and the national zoo using the reserve funds of previous years, but announced that it would close them from last week.
Because of # GouvernementArrêtSmithsonian Museums and the National Zoo are closed. We will update our operational status as soon as the situation is resolved. We do not plan to update social media other than to inform you of our operational status.
– Smithsonian (@smithsonian) January 2, 2019
- A key body of the Treasury Department, the IRS said it planned to fire a sizable fraction of its workers as part of an emergency plan because the period of time was over. taxation has not started yet. This partial closure could lead to delays in this year's filing season, which should already be complicated since it is the first to include the implementation of new Republican tax reforms.
- The OMI will still issue tax refunds if closure continues, according to the OMB.
Department of State Services
- People will still be able to obtain passports and visas, although the State Department may limit their issuance if these services are offered in buildings managed by another closed agency, reports Bloomberg.
Environmental and Food Inspections
- The Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration could reduce the number of inspections of hazardous sites and various food products, respectively.
As Julie Belluz of Vox reports, the FDA said this week that it had missed about a dozen food inspections on more than 8,000 performed. However, it notes that inspections of "high-risk" catering establishments, which deal with things like raw meat, are expected to resume shortly, while inspections of "low-risk" storage facilities handling items such as cookies and the crackers will be paused. .