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What You Can and Can't Do During a Government Shutdown

20 January 2018

Lawmakers have until Friday at midnight to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown. The Republican-controlled House passed two spending bills with amendments aimed at crippling the law: one that would have repealed the medical device tax, and another that would have delayed the implementation of the ACA by a year.

President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress are racing to meet a midnight Friday deadline to pass a short-term bill to keep the U.S. government open and prevent agencies from shutting down.

At the peak of the 2013 government shutdown, about 850,000 employees were furloughed per day, according to the Office of Management and Budget. Those include raising budget caps for defense and domestic spending, funding the Mexico border wall promised by President Donald Trump, and extending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program to protect from deportation some 800,000 young people brought to the USA illegally as children. "There is a tremendous backlog", said Jeffrey Cox, executive director of the American Federation of Government employees, the largest union for federal workers.

About 1.3 million active-duty military personnel will be expected to work potentially without pay. So the troops just received a paycheck, and they wouldn't be due for another one until February 1. Here in Arizona, a shutdown would impact several civilian workers at military bases and nearly all federal workers including those at the Grand Canyon. - Social Security benefits will continued- it is a mandatory program.

What You Can and Can't Do During a Government Shutdown

Additionally, Guard elements support of certain operations will continue during the shutdown period, such as the 174th Attack Wing in Syracuse, which operates MQ-9 Reaper drones at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base and Fort Drum Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield.

What are some examples of government offices that would close?

It depends. In the past, individual members of Congress have reacted differently, with some closing their district offices and others leaving them open. Why would any member of Congress allow it to happen?

But if you had plans for a vacation to visit any national parks, zoos or museums, those will be closed.

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The Interior Department said if there is a government shutdown, national parks and other public lands will remain as accessible as possible.

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It's not a good weekend to plan that road trip for a wintertime twirl on the ice under Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. However, park services requiring staffing, like maintaining campgrounds, full-service restrooms and concessions, will not be operational.

Social Security checks would still be issued and air traffic control, border patrol and other national security operations would continue.

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However, as the deal is negotiated, the President wants to ensure our military and national security are funded. On Friday evening, Trump also spoke by phone to House Speaker Paul Ryan , according to a source familiar.

What a shutdown will affect is employees who are deemed "non-essential". "I think you have to in this case also, yes".

How else could a shutdown impact me?

The Federal Housing Administration, the agency that guarantees about 30 percent of all American home mortgages, wouldn'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. Then there's the costly problem of shutting down operations, which could take days for some government departments, along with the cost and time to restart them.

You could still get a passport and visa applications would still be processed by the State Department.

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Well over a million federal employees were affected and didn't receive a paycheck during the shutdown. Other activities that may stop if the shutdown lasts more than a few days include the processing of applications for passports and visas; new enrollments in experimental treatments under the National Institutes for Health; and the maintenance of USA government websites, including ones used by businesses and researchers. That would mean almost 45,500 IRS employees would be sent home just as the agency is preparing for the start of the tax filing season and ingesting the sweeping changes made by the new GOP tax law. Tonight there is simple uncertainty as to what this shutdown would look like; and which agencies would truly be closed.

What You Can and Can't Do During a Government Shutdown