The Associated Press
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The federal government shutdown only partially curbs operations. But the longer the shutdown continues, the more likely its impact will be felt.
U.S. troops will stay at their posts and mail will get delivered, but almost half of the 2 million civilian federal workers will be barred from doing their jobs if the shutdown extends into Monday.
How key parts of the federal government would be affected by a shutdown:
Interior Department — The Interior Department says national parks and other public lands will remain as accessible as possible. That position is a change from previous shutdowns, when most parks were closed and became high-profile symbols of dysfunction.
In Olympic National Park, that means that no visitor services will be provided, according to a message on the park’s visitor center phone because the lapse in funding means that full staffing is not possible. Hurricane Ridge Road will remain closed throughout the shutdown.
Kalaloch Lodge is open, at least through the weekend, according to desk clerk Joey McDonald. “There might be a change on Monday,” he said Saturday.
All beach accesses are open, he said, and Kalaloch campgrounds are open but restrooms are closed.
Internal Revenue Service — A shutdown plan posted on the Treasury Department’s website shows that nearly 44 percent of the IRS’ 80,565 employees will be exempt from being furloughed during a shutdown. That would mean nearly 45,500 IRS employees will be sent home just as the agency is preparing for the start of the tax filing season and ingesting the sweeping changes made by the new GOP tax law.
Health and Human Services — Half of the more than 80,000 employees will be sent home. Key programs will continue to function because their funding has ongoing authorization and doesn’t depend on annual approval by Congress. But critical disruptions could occur across the vast jurisdiction of HHS programs.
Medicare, which insures nearly 59 million seniors and disabled people, will keep going. And so will Medicaid, which covers more than 74 million low-income and disabled people, including most nursing home residents. States will continue to receive payments for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Justice Department — Many of the nearly 115,000 Justice Department employees have national security and public safety responsibilities that allow them to keep working during a shutdown. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russian meddling in the presidential election also will continue working. His office is paid for indefinitely.
State Department — Many State Department operations will continue in a shutdown. Passport and visa processing, which are largely self-funded by consumer fees, will not shut down. The agency’s main headquarters in Washington, D.C., will draw up lists of nonessential employees who will be furloughed. Department operations will continue through the weekend and staffers will be instructed to report for work on Monday to find out whether they have been furloughed.
Defense Department — The U.S. military will continue to fight wars and conduct missions around the world. Members of the military will report to work, though they won’t get paid until Congress approves funding. But Defence Secretary Jim Mattis warned Friday that maintenance activities, intelligence operations and reserve force training will stop.
Intelligence agencies — The workforce at the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies will be pared down significantly, according to a person familiar with contingency procedures. The official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity, said employees who are considered essential and have to work will do so with no expectation of a regular paycheck.
Homeland Security — A department spokesman said nearly 90 per cent of Homeland Security employees are considered essential and will continue to perform their duties during a government shutdown.
Transportation Department — More than half — 34,600 — of the Department of Transportation’s 55,100 employees will continue working during a shutdown. The bulk of those staying on the job work for the Federal Aviation Administration, which operates the nation’s air traffic control system.
Environmental Protection Agency — EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has instructed workers there to come to work next week even with a shutdown.