HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — As we approach Monday with Republicans and Democrats still trying to agree on a solution to the shutdown, many are wondering what will be open and what will be closed — and for how long.
The last government shutdown in 2013 lasted 16 days. At its peak, the Office of Management and Budget reported about 850,000 federal workers were sent home per day and services slowed to crawl. Depending on how long the government shutdown lasts, we could see some of the same impacts.
For now, here is what is and is not affected:
- The US Post Office will still run. As an independent entity that relies on the sale of products and services, not tax dollars, they will not be impacted.
- National Parks accessibility is limited and the National Parks Service released a statement that those that are open can change without notice.
“Because of the federal government shutdown, this website is not being updated and may not reflect current conditions. For your planning purposes, some parks in the National Park System may have areas that remain accessible to visitors; however access may change without notice, and some parks are closed completely. Some lodging, restaurants, and other services may be available when provided by concessioners or other entities. Be aware that there will be no National Park Service-provided visitor services, including restrooms, trash collection, facilities, or road maintenance. For more information, see www.doi.gov/shutdown and the park website.”
- The Parks also estimates in a contingency plan that it will furlough about 21,000 employees.
- The TSA and Air Traffic Controllers will continue working. The FAA says “there will be no impact to safety or safety oversight.”
“Due to a lapse in funding, the FAA will only continue “exempt” activities such as air traffic control and safety inspections. There will be no impact to safety or safety oversight for the traveling public.”
- According to the military’s website, uniformed military personnel will remain working but will not receive pay until the shutdown ends.
- Social Security is considered an essential service so the checks will continue to be issued during the shutdown. Food stamps also will continue to be funded.
- The IRS is keeping 35,076 employees on the job — that’s about 43.5% of its total workforce.
- The IRS already announced it wouldn’t start accepting 2017 tax returns until January 29. So in the short term, the people most likely to be affected by the halt on refunds are those who are owed them for earlier tax years.
- Among the functions the IRS will not perform during a shutdown: audits, return examinations, non-automated collections, and issuing refunds.
- VA hospitals and food inspections will continue operations.