March 22, 2018

Government shutdowns: A look back at modern 'funding gaps'

20 January 2018, 11:46 | Virginia Santiago

The 2018 government shutdown showdown, explained in less than 500 words

US shutdown would idle vast workforce but not military or Mueller probe

The shutdown of the federal government would have little noticeable impact for most Washingtonians if the impasse is remedied quickly.

You might be surprised to find out that the short answer is not much, actually.

"It is very clear that a federal government shutdown could inflict serious pain on everyday working people", Cox said in the letter.

If the Republicans and Democrats can not reach an agreement before the deadline, many federal employees will be sent home on furlough.

When the clock strikes midnight, the USA government could shut down in historic fashion.

And if you are a veteran or in the military and need to visit a VA hospital, you'll still be able to go.

But not every part of the government would shutter.

Will I still get my Social Security benefits? You'll keep getting those.

Is it too late to get a flu shot?
Over the weekend, 10-year-old Nico Mallozzi was traveling with his hockey team in western NY when he was diagnosed with the flu. During most flu seasons , those aged 65 and older and 5 and younger constitute most of the flu-related hospitalizations.

About a third are not affected because they work for the U.S. Postal Service, the Bonneville Power Administration or other entities that have their own funding sources.

"We fully expect the government to remain open; however, in the event of a shutdown, national parks will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures", said NPS spokesman Jeffrey Olson. In some agencies, such as the departments of Defense and Homeland Security, many employees will stay on the job, but without pay or any guarantee of back-pay.

The former includes air traffic controllers, federal law enforcement, and, of course, the troops.

That's the bottom line the Trump administration announced Friday, as lawmakers and the president continued to dicker over a plan to fund the government and meet Democratic demands to deal with a key immigration issue at the same time. A lot of other things - like museums, parks and many federal offices - are not. We will even pitch in to keep our national parks and monuments clean.

If you wanted to get a gun permit, you'll have to wait because the government shut down affects the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. "Folks will still be fighting the fires out West; they will not get paid".

If you need a new passport, you might want to put in your request in now.

October 2013: During this standoff, government funding elapsed for 16 full days from Oct. 1 to 17 and about 800,000 federal workers were furloughed, according to the CRS. Led to longer shutdown a month later. A look at the last time this happened, in 2013, provides some helpful answers about the mechanics and politics at play. The Small Business Administration was unable to process about 700 applications for $140-M in loans until the shutdown ended, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Both Congressmen represent districts home to many federal employees, almost 120,000 between the two of them. In reality, employees have been paid retroactively in all 12 government shutdowns that have occurred since 1981. It's likely this will happen in this case.

Without those stricter guidelines, the government could - and frequently did - function without funds to pay their expenditures. (Before 1981, agencies operated mostly as normal during funding gaps, their expenses covered retroactively once a deal was reached.) Shutdowns over spending disagreements are different (and less grave) than what would happen if the US breached its debt ceiling and defaulted on some of its obligations.

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