• Government shutdown: What is closed; will you get your SS check, SNAP, WIC?

    By: Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A partial government shutdown continues as a stalemate with President Donald Trump and congressional leaders continued over his demand for $5 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Without a deal, funding for about 25 percent of the government expired.

    Incoming chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday” that the shutdown could continue into the next year.

    “It is very possible that the shutdown will go beyond the 28th and into the new Congress,” Mulvaney said.

    The Senate does not estimate a vote on a deal to end the partial government shutdown until next Thursday at the earliest, tweeted Jamie Dupree, Cox Media Group Washington correspondent.


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    Federal and State Employees

    An estimated 800,000 federal workers nationwide are not being paid under a federal funding lapse, and slightly more than half will be required to show up to work during a shutdown. Following previous funding lapses, Congress voted to pay those employees, but that money was not guaranteed.

    “This is the time of year when people should be celebrating and relaxing, instead of being stressed because they don’t know if they are going to get furloughed or not get paid,” said Ceretta Smith, a U.S. Army veteran and president of the Local 2017 chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents about 4,600 workers at Fort Gordon. “They are on pins and needles.”

    There could also be consequences for state government workers, particularly if the shutdown stretches for a long period of time. Some state employees are paid partly with federal money, and about one-third of state government spending comes from the federal government, the AJC previously reported.

    Air travel
    Air travel would not be affected as federal air traffic controllers would remain on the job and Transportation Security Administration screeners would remain in place. But TSA workers will not get paid until the shutdown is lifted. 

    Law Enforcement: 

    Most federal law enforcement officials, including FBI agents, customs agents and Bureau of Prisons correctional officers, will continue to work — but without pay.

    At the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center campus near Brunswick, basic training for new students will be suspended under a shutdown. Personnel will be told to remain onsite during a short funding lapse, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s contingency plans, but would eventually be sent back to their permanent duty stations under an extended shutdown.

    Federal court
    For about two weeks, federal courts will continue operating normally. After that time, the judiciary would have to furlough employees not considered essential.

    Food safety
    The Food and Drug Administration will handle high-risk recalls. Most routine safety inspections would be halted.

    Health
    Patients in the National Institutes of Health will continue to be treated. New patients would not be accepted until a funding bill is in place.

    Agriculture: 

    The funding lapse could harm farmers, who will not be able to access the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s farm service centers during a shutdown. Many are also hoping for emergency funding from Congress following Hurricane Michael. Food inspections, meanwhile, will continue.

    International travel 
    You can still get a passport and visa applications will still be processed by the State Department. Fees collected when someone applies for a visa or a passport fund those services.

    Loans 
    The Federal Housing Administration, the agency that guarantees about 30 percent of all American home mortgages, won't be able to underwrite or approve any new loans during a shutdown, causing a delay for those using one of those loans to purchase a home. 

    The mail
    You will still get mail, as the U.S. Postal Service is not funded by taxpayer dollars for everyday operations.

    Military and CDC
    Active-duty military personnel will stay on duty, but their paychecks will be delayed. Georgia’s nine military bases will largely be spared from the uncertainty, as well as the Atlanta headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s because Congress previously passed spending bills for the Pentagon and Department of Health and Human Services.

    National parks

    Perhaps one of the most visible local impacts of the shutdown could be on national parks, since Congress could not agree on funding for the Department of Interior.

    Both Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta were closed during the February government shutdown.

    And even among parks that remained accessible during previous funding lapses, there were no visitor services available such as full-service restrooms and gift shops.


    School lunches, SNAP and WIC
    School breakfasts and lunches funded by the federal government are not affected. The Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, could be affected. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which used to be called the Food Stamp Program, will continue to be funded and SNAP benefits would continue to be distributed. But several smaller feeding programs will not have the money to operate.

    Science
    The National Weather Service will keep forecasting weather.

    Social Security
    Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefits will be paid, but new applications for those payments could be delayed. 

    Veterans services
    Most services offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs are continuing.

    Sources: The Associated Press; Politicothe Congressional Research Service

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