Jul 26, 2014

Government Shutdown: What's Open, What's Closed

A short list of closures and consequences related to the shutdown.

Government Shutdown: What's Open, What's Closed

By Susan Larson

Tuesday is the 123rd anniversary of Yosemite National Park, but no one will be allowed to visit.

All national parks, national monuments and wildlife refuges are closed due to the government shutdown.

Federal workers have to report to work for about four hours Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. Employees are to limit work to shutdown chores, including changing voice mail and email messages, securing computers and completing time cards.

A (Short) List of Consequences

  • Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and unemployment insurance are considered mandatory spending and will be paid.  There could be delays in processing new applications.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, will continue to be distributed in October under authority granted by the 2009 stimulus bill, the USDA said.
  • Doctors will see Medicare and Medicaid patients.
  • Veteran’s hospitals will stay open.
  • The U.S. Postal Service is an independent agency, so mail will continue to be delivered.
  • The Federal Reserve is a self-funded agency and so will remain operational.
  • The  Transportation Security Administration (TSA), air traffic control and border patrol officers stay on duty.
  • Federally provided school lunches should be able to continue through the end of October, the USDA said.
  • The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, which provides food to 8.9 million low-income women and children, will be out of money, staff said.  
  • People who received a six-month filing extension on their taxes still must pay by Oct. 15. The Internal Revenue Service said it would suspend all audits, and taxpayer services, including toll-free help lines, would be closed.

Military Bases

Active duty military remain on the job.

“While military personnel would continue in a normal duty status, a large number of our civilian employees would be temporarily furloughed,” Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter wrote i n a September 23 memo to all Department of Defense employees.

According to the Lansing State Journal, the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, home to the Army’s Tank Automotive Command, and at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township, thousands of civilian workers were expected to be furloughed in the event of the shutdown. 

Base schools remain open.

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