RSN Fundraising Banner
Here's What Would Happen if the Government Shuts Down This Week
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=36031"><span class="small">Brian Naylor, NPR</span></a>   
Tuesday, 18 December 2018 09:23

Naylor writes: "While the 75 percent of the government whose budget bills are already approved will be unaffected, the remaining 25 percent include some high-profile agencies and departments."

If it happens, this would be the second partial government shutdown this year. (photo: WP)
If it happens, this would be the second partial government shutdown this year. (photo: WP)


Here's What Would Happen if the Government Shuts Down This Week

By Brian Naylor, NPR

18 December 18

 

lanning a trip to the Grand Canyon over the coming holidays?

You might want to have a Plan B ... or at least bring your own trail maps.

While the Grand Canyon, along with the rest of the national park system, is expected to remain open in the case of a government shutdown, visitor centers at the facilities probably won't. And some iconic sites, including the Statue of Liberty, may be closed altogether if the park service follows past practices.

That is, of course, unless Congress and the White House resolve their latest spat over funding the federal government.

For the National Park Service and many other agencies, funding runs out on Dec. 21 at midnight. And while the 75 percent of the government whose budget bills are already approved will be unaffected, the remaining 25 percent include some high-profile agencies and departments. Among them:

  • Homeland Security
  • Transportation
  • Commerce
  • Interior
  • Agriculture
  • Housing and Urban Development
  • Justice

Independent agencies, including NASA, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, will also be closed. The FDA "does routine, unannounced inspections," Food Safety News wrote in January. "During these partial government shutdowns, FDA likely ceases routine checks while using its 'essential' personnel on problems that arise."

But within those agencies, some 420,000 employees are "excepted," in government parlance, from furloughs; that is, they are considered essential and will be on the job, but they won't be getting paychecks.

They include law enforcement officers at the:

  • FBI
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
  • Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Border Patrol
  • Transportation Security Administration

TSA officers will still be screening airline passengers in one of the busiest travel periods of the year, but will very likely have to wait for paychecks during the holiday season.

An additional 380,000 employees will be furloughed — that is, be sent home — also without pay, although Congress has previously appropriated back pay for federal workers when the prior shutdowns have ended.

Is this any way to run a government? Well, President Trump last week said he would "be proud to shut down the government" over his demands for money for a border wall, although he has since tried to back away from that position.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi accused Trump of not understanding that "people need their paychecks. Maybe that's not the life he leads," Pelosi told reporters Thursday. "It's not enough to say we'll pay you in January when people have to make ends meet in December."

The American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal workers union, called on the two sides to resolve their dispute.

"Our members take home an average of around $500 each week," AFGE President J. David Cox said in a statement. "Any interruption in their pay will have a devastating impact on them, their families and their communities."

Cox added, "Our members are asking how they are supposed to pay for rent, food and gas if they are required to work without a paycheck. The holiday season makes these inquiries especially heart-wrenching."

If it happens, this would be the second partial government shutdown this year. Agencies closed over a weekend last January in a brief spending squabble. So it comes as no surprise perhaps that a new survey of government employees by the Partnership for Public Service finds a decline in how federal workers view their jobs and workplaces, what the study calls "employee engagement," from last year.

Scores declined at almost 60 percent for agencies, while 40 percent improved. Over the past three years, scores improved at some 70 percent of agencies.

The president himself will be out of town during the shutdown, on a 16-day stay at his Mar-A-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla. Not the greatest of optics, if those plans hold.

Email This Page

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+4 # wilhelmscream 2018-12-18 11:09
If I were expected to work unpaid b/c of shutdown, I would NS/NC
 
 
0 # lfeuille 2018-12-18 21:13
This afternoon I read that Trump is starting to back off this threat after beginning to realize that it was not a political winner. He apparently really believed that he would get points for shutting down the government.