You may have heard that the US Senate was unable to agree on a stopgap funding measure that would keep the government open by its midnight Friday deadline. This means the US is officially in a government shutdown. Here’s what that means.
So, what actually happens in a US government shutdown? Here’s a rundown of what shuts down as well as what will still be functioning:
A significant number of government employees working everywhere from parks to the EPA will be furloughed during the shutdown. During the shutdown in 2013 that totaled around 800,000 people.
White House Staff
The White House will furlough 1,056 members of the Executive Office of the President, while 659 “essential” staff will continue to work, reports CNN. The entire staff is expected to show up to work on Monday, but if an agreement hasn’t been made the furloughed staff will stay a maximum of four hours so they can set up their out of office messages or explain how to handle their job responsibilities to a non-furloughed employee.
CNN also notes that Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation team will continue to operate during the shutdown.
Most National Parks, zoos, and museums will be closed during the shutdown. Government shutdowns also typically include the Smithsonian; however, the museum tweeted this weekend that still has funds from last year that it will use to stay open as long as possible. For now, it’s only be confirmed to stay open Monday.
The Smithsonian’s popular “panda cameras” at the National Zoo are currently turned off due to the shutdown. Yes, the US government has taken the pandas away.
Gun Permits and Passports
The shutdown effects the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The bureau will not be providing any new gun permits during the shutdown. The shutdown also effects the passport office.
DC City Services and National Mall
Typically a government shutdown would effect city services in Washington DC as well as the National Mall, which is technically a National Park. This time the city plans to help the federal government and support both for as long as possible using city rather than federal funds.
USPS, Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps
The USPS will continue to function as usual during the shutdown. Social security and medicare check will continue to be sent out and food stamps will continue to be distributed.
The military is considered essential, so troops will still report for duty during the shutdown. The military is currently paid through February 1; however, if they shutdown extends past that point then there’s a good chance members of the military will be expected to work for free.
Bloomberg notes that new enrollments in experimental treatments under the National institutes for Health, the maintenance of US government websites, and mortgage approvals can also be delayed during a government shutdown.