Government Shutdown: Here's What Would It Would Mean
Odds for a deal to keep the government funded and avoid a partial shutdown before Christmas Day looked grim Friday as lawmakers and President Donald Trump remained divided over the wall meant to separate Mexico and the United States.
The White House said that “at this moment” President Donald Trump “does not want to go further without border security, which includes steel slats or a wall.” The statement also said the president is “continuing to weigh his options.”
After a meeting with House Republican leaders on Thursday, chances of a shutdown seemed even more likely when Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said the president had informed them he would not sign a spending bill passed by the Senate.
The U.S. Senate passed a stopgap funding bill on Wednesday that keeps the government funded past Friday. The temporary funding bill would keep the government running to Feb. 8, but some Republicans say it’s better to fight for the border wall now, before they relinquish their majority to Democrats in the new year. Trump had originally demanded $5 billion to fund the border wall but White House officials said earlier this week he was willing to settle for far less. The current bill offers $1.3 billion for border security but the appropriation cannot be used to build a wall.
House Republicans say they will continue to work to come up with a deal. In the meantime, here’s a look at what happens if lawmakers are unable to reach a deal that keeps the government sufficiently funded.
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A report prepared by Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee says that around 800,000 federal workers would be furloughed or have to work without pay. Airports will continue to function during the busy holiday travel season as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees and Customs and Border Patrol agents are among those employees who will have to work without pay. Federal law enforcement agents and correctional officers also continue to work without pay.
The shutdown will affect nine federal departments, including Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, State and Justice, per The Associated Press.
The shutdown also affects national parks and forests. According to the National Parks Conservation Association, during the last government shutdown in January, a third of national park sites were completely closed. Gates at many other park sites remained open but few staff were on hand and visitors centers and restrooms remained locked. The NPCA said the guidance provided by the Department of Interior is unlikely to change but the effect differs from park to park.
The post office stays open during a government shutdown and Social Security payments will go out as usual.
The report prepared by Democratic Senators on the appropriations committee also lays out what specific groups the shutdown would affect. Here’s what the report says:
Reporting and writing from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press