What’s with this government shut down thing?
This whole government shut down thing may be a bit confusing and overwhelming. Luckily, there are people out there who have graciously taken it upon themselves to compile information. Consider this a compiling of compilations.
quick links for those confused by the impending government shutdown (inside and outside america):
- Government shutdown: Get up to speed in 20 questions
- 5 things to know about the government shutdown
- 66 questions and answers about the government shutdown
- Explaining the Shutdown to Your Kids
- what happens in a US government shutdown?
- what is a government shutdown?
- 10 ways the government shutdown may affect your daily life
- how will a government shutdown affect you?
- government shutdown 101: 12 ways it could affect you
BILLION DOLLAR BABY: Shutdown 101: What’s Going To Happen Tonight At Midnight?
So as this is likely the first government shutdown in the memory of most if not all of the people posting here on tumblr (I was 8 in 1995), it might be helpful to refresh our memories on what exactly is going to happen when the federal government doesn’t have a budget.
- 800,000federal employees have to go home. There’s no money to pay them, and coming to work on a volunteer basis gets into some tricky legal areas. While in the past they have successfully lobbied for back pay, there’s no guarantee of it with a divided congress.
- Air-traffic controllers will remain on duty. ATCs are government employees, but they are members of the 2-million odd employees that are marked as “essential”. They likely will not receive paychecks, however, until the shutdown ends.
- Airport delays. While the FAA’s security screeners are essential employees, many of the people who work to support them logistically are not.
- Visa applications and fees will continue to be processed, and foreign embassies and consulates remain open. So if you’re waiting on a visa application, don’t worry, it’s still in the works - though again, it’ll almost certainly be a slower process. Homeland Security and green card operations are included here, though DHS’ e-verify program - the thing that checks on the immigration status of job applicants - will no longer operate.
- NASAwill furlough most of its employees. Essential mission control operations and employees will continue, but the vast majority of NASA employees are going home - and I do mean home, because NASA’s on-site housing for employees is being shut down.
The military stops receiving paychecks. While the million and a half members of the US Armed Services stay on duty, they won’t get paid until after the shutdown.Thanks to a bill signed into law an hour before the shutdown, this is no longer true. Active-duty and reserve members will continue to be paid.
- The postal service continues as normal.
- The federal court system stops. According to The Guardian, the federal courts would operate as normal for about 10 days before they have to start sending people home.
- The NIH screeches to a halt. That includes accepting new patients for clinical research, as well as answering medical questions on their hotline.
- The CDC will stop its seasonal flu program. According to the Washington Post, it will also have “a significantly reduced capacity to respond to outbreak investigations.”
- HUD will no longer be able to provide local housing authorities with vouchers. So if you live in government-subsidized housing, your status is very much up in the air.
- Parks and museums will close. Yosemite, Alcatraz, Yellowstone, the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, the Statue of Liberty, and about 400 other locations will close - though interestingly, the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon will remain open, because the state of Arizona is picking up the bill.
- The EPA will shut down. The only thing that stays open at the EPA during a government shutdown is its operations around Superfund sites.
- OSHA will shut down.
- Social Security will be partially defunded. Social Security, as an entitlement, will remain open enough to keep the checks going out, but will lose enough staff that they won’t be able to schedule new hearings.
- VA Benefits will be cut. VA hospitals remain open, but that’s about it - and if the shutdown lasts longer than a few weeks, the Department of Veterans Affairs has said that it might not have enough money to pay disability claims and pensions.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully it gives everyone a pretty good idea of what we’re going to be looking at over the next few days, weeks, or (god forbid) months.
Feel free to send me an ask with any questions you have, and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability.
edit: I have answered a ton of questions about student loans, housing, food stamps, parks, zoos, and so on. Check through the last few pages of my blog - chances are, your question has been answered! Food stamps and student loans aren’t going anywhere.
And despite all of this:
(CNN) — A little more than an hour after the federal government began shutting down, House Republicans have voted to reaffirm Obamacare amendments they attached to a spending bill that would have kept the government running and that the Senate had earlier rejected.
C’mon! Seriously? C’mon.