Thousands of federal employees will be furloughed while others have to work without pay. Here’s what will be affected in Florida.
By Paul Scicchitano, Patch Staff | Dec 21, 2018 7:34 pm ET | Updated Dec 22, 2018 4:06 am ET
MIAMI, FL — Thousands of federal employees will be furloughed while others have to work without pay. Here’s what happens during a partial government shutdown.
A partial federal shutdown took hold early Saturday after Democrats refused to meet President Donald Trump’s demands for $5 billion to start erecting his cherished Mexican border wall, a chaotic postscript for Republicans in the waning days of their two-year reign controlling government.
House Republicans say they will continue to work to come up with a deal. In the meantime, here’s a look at what will happen now that lawmakers have been unable to reach a deal to keep the government sufficiently funded.
A report prepared by Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee says that around 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed or have to work without pay. Airports will continue to function during the busy holiday travel season, but Transportation Security Administration 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 will also continue to work without pay.
The shutdown will affect nine federal departments, including Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, State and Justice, The Associated Press reports.
The lack of funds will disrupt many government operations and the routines of 800,000 federal employees. Roughly 420,000 workers were deemed essential and will work unpaid just days before Christmas, while 380,000 will be furloughed, meaning they’ll stay home without pay.
Those being furloughed include nearly everyone at NASA and 52,000 workers at the Internal Revenue Service. About 8 in 10 employees of the National Park Service will stay home and many parks were expected to close.
The Senate passed legislation ensuring workers will receive back pay, which the House seemed sure to approve.
Some agencies, including the Pentagon and the departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services, were already funded for the year in agreements reached earlier, and they will operate as usual.
The U.S. Postal Service, busy delivering packages for the holiday season, will not be affected because it’s an independent agency. Social Security checks will still be mailed, troops will remain on duty and food inspections will continue.
In Florida, the following national parks may be affected:
- Big Cypress
- Castillo de San Marcos
- De Soto
- Dry Tortugas
- Fort Caroline
- Fort Matanzas
- Gulf Islands
The Post Office will stay 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:
- Farmers will suffer, as the USDA will close local and state farm service centers across the U.S.
- Over 30 million small businesses will no longer have access to federally-assisted loans and technical assistance.
- The Federal Housing Administration will see “significant delays in loan processing and approvals.”
- Local jurisdictions will not be able to move forward with Community Development Block Grant projects.
- With the shutdown of national parks, economies of local communities that depend on them for tourism willbe affected.
- Civil litigation, payment to victims and training for state and local law enforcement will stop during a shutdown.
- Companies petitioning to avoid tariff on steel and aluminum products will not be able to do so.
- Food banks that receive commodities from the USDA will be affected.
- Small and remote rural communities that lack adequate clean drinking water will not be able to seek assistance to construct water systems.
- Payment to public housing agencies will be delayed.
Reporting and writing from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Photo of Biscayne National Park courtesy National Park Service