Garbage won't pile up during this government shutdown

A closed sign in front of the Library of Congress in Washington as the government shutdown continues
A closed sign in front of the Library of Congress in Washington as the government shutdown continues

21 January, 2018

If Congress and President Trump can not agree on a short term spending bill by Friday at midnight, many federal institutions will be furloughed. But as of Friday morning, the Senate still appeared short of the votes needed to pass the measure. They will not get paid. An official government estimate said it shaved 0.3% percentage points off of the nation's gross domestic product that quarter, the broad measure of overall economic activity.

Another USDA employee said that in 2011, when there were rumors of a shutdown, workers received emails with instructions on what to do. During the 2013 shutdown, Gallup said, Americans supported a compromise 2-1, and many were more likely to "say the shutdown was an attempt by both sides to gain political advantage than to say it was an important battle over principles and the future direction of the government".

The Justice Department has many essential workers, and under its shutdown contingency plan about 95,000 of the department's nearly 115,000 staff will keep working.

During a government shutdown, services such as Social Security, Medicare, air traffic control and the Transportation Security Administration are still funded and the U.S. Postal Service continues to deliver mail.

Not so much this time. Visitors in overnight campgrounds in national parks would be given 48 hours to make alternate arrangements and leave the park. Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, called the looming government shutdown the "Schumer Shutdown", named after Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). But you could still run into some delays if you're traveling because "non-essential" employees will be furloughed. Workers will "probably" still get paid, according to Federal News Radio. I worked primarily to get funding for projects, which meant I lobbied the Appropriations Committee.

Social Security and disability checks were issued in 2013 with no change in payment dates, and field offices remained open but offered limited services. "Most people seem to hope that if a shutdown happens that it does not last long".

A three-day shutdown took place beginning October 5 1990 when George H.W. Bush pledged to veto any continuing resolution that did not involve a plan to reduce the deficit.

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A shutdown, however, doesn't mean every federally funded agency, program and service will grind to a halt.

U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo, who serves as chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of IL, which operates the federal courthouses in Chicago and Rockford, said the district court has enough funding in reserve to maintain current operations levels for "about 3 weeks". Federal Bureau of Investigation agents will remain at work ferreting out crime, while criminals will face indictments in federal court. Visa and passport processing would stop.

The popular panda cameras at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington will be turned off, according to a statement from the Smithsonian Institution. The Small Business Administration was unable to process about 700 applications for $140 million in loans until the shutdown ended, OMB said.

A phone recording for the site on Friday said the grounds remain open for winter hiking and walking from dawn until dusk.

Food inspections: Department of Agriculture meat inspectors stayed on the job.

And if you're a government researcher, you would have to put your work on hold.

Federal government programs and services benefiting millions of Americans are in jeopardy due to a potential government shutdown and steep cuts in non-defense spending, the head of the largest union representing federal government workers told Congress.

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