What will and won't happen with the shutdown

Campers in national parks are to pull up stakes and leave, some veterans waiting to have disability benefits approved will have to cool their heels even longer, many routine food inspections will be suspended and panda-cams will go dark at the shuttered National Zoo.
Associated Press
Oct 1, 2013

Those are among the immediate effects if parts of the government shut Tuesday because of the budget impasse in Congress.
In this time of argument and political gridlock, a blueprint to manage federal dysfunction is one function that appears to have gone smoothly. Throughout government, plans are ready to roll out to keep essential services running and numb the impact for the public. The longer a shutdown goes on, the more it will be felt in day-to-day lives and in the economy as a whole.
A look at what is bound to happen, and what probably won't, barring a political breakthrough:
THIS: Washington's paralysis will be felt early on in distant lands as well as in the capital; namely, at national parks. All park services will close. Campers have 48 hours to leave their sites. Many parks, such as Yellowstone, will close to traffic, and some will become completely inaccessible. Smithsonian museums in Washington will close and so will the zoo, where panda cams record every twitch and cuddle of the panda cub born Aug. 23 but are to be turned off in the first day of a shutdown.
The Statue of Liberty in New York, the loop road at Acadia National Park in Maine, Skyline Drive in Virginia, and Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park, home of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, will be off limits. At Grand Canyon National Park, people will be turned back from entrance gates and overlooks will be cordoned off along a state road inside the park that will remain open.
"People who waited a year to get a reservation to go to the bottom of the Grand Canyon all of a sudden will find themselves without an opportunity to take that trip," said Mike Litterst, a spokesman for the National Park Service.
BUT NOT THIS: At some parks, where access is not controlled by gates or entrance stations, people can continue to drive, bike and hike. People won't be shooed off the Appalachian Trail, for example, and parks with highways running through them, like the Great Smokies, also are likely to be accessible. Officials won't scour the entire 1.2 million-acre Grand Canyon park looking for people; those already hiking or camping in the backcountry and on rafting trips on the Colorado River will be able to complete their trips. The care and feeding of the National Zoo's animals will all go on as usual.
The shutdown won't affect Ellis Island or the Washington Monument because they are already closed for repairs.
THIS: The Board of Veterans Appeals will stop issuing rulings, meaning decisions about some disability claims by veterans will wait even longer than usual. Interments at national cemeteries will slow. If a shutdown drags on for weeks, disability and pension payments may be interrupted.
BUT NOT THIS: Most Department of Veterans Affairs services will continue; 95 percent of staff are either exempted from a shutdown or have the budget to keep paying them already in place. The department's health programs get their money a year in advance, so veterans can still see their doctor, get prescriptions filled and visit fully operational VA hospitals and outpatient clinics. Claims workers can process benefit payments until late in October, when that money starts to run out.
THIS: New patients won't be accepted into clinical research at the National Institutes of Health, including 255 trials for cancer patients; care will continue for current patients. Federal medical research will be curtailed and the government's ability to detect and investigate disease outbreaks will be harmed. Grant applications will be accepted but not dealt with.
BUT NOT THIS: The show goes on for President Barack Obama's health care law. Tuesday heralds the debut of health insurance markets across the country, which begin accepting customers for coverage that begins in January. Core elements of the law are an entitlement, like Social Security, so their flow of money does not depend on congressional appropriations. That's why Republicans have been trying explicitly to starve the law of money. An impasse in approving a federal budget has little effect on Obamacare. As for NIH operations, reduced hospital staff at the NIH Clinical Center will care for current patients, and research animals will get their usual care.
THIS: Most routine food inspections by the Food and Drug Administration will be suspended.
BUT NOT THIS: Meat inspection, done by the Agriculture Department, continues. The FDA will still handle high-risk recalls.
THIS: Complaints from airline passengers to the government will fall on deaf ears. The government won't be able to do new car safety testing and ratings or handle automobile recall information. Internal Transportation Department investigations of waste and fraud will be put on ice, and progress will be slowed on replacing the country's radar-based air traffic system with GPS-based navigation. Most accident investigators who respond to air crashes, train collisions, pipeline explosions and other accidents will be furloughed but could be called back if needed.
Kristie Greco, speaking for the Federal Aviation Administration, said nearly 2,500 safety office personnel will be furloughed but may be called back incrementally over the next two weeks. The union representing aviation safety inspectors said it was told by FAA Administrator Michael Huerta that nearly 3,000 inspectors will be off work. Greco did not confirm that.
BUT NOT THIS: Air traffic controllers and many of the technicians who keep air traffic equipment working will remain on the job. Amtrak says it can continue normal operations for a while, relying on ticket revenue, but will suffer without federal subsidies over the longer term. FAA employees who make grants to airports, most Federal Highway Administration workers and federal bus and truck safety inspectors will also stay on the job because they are paid with user fees. Railroad and pipeline safety inspectors will also remain at work.
THIS: About half the Defense Department's civilian employees will be furloughed.
BUT NOT THIS: The 1.4 million active-duty military personnel stay on duty and under a last-minute bill, they should keep getting paychecks on time. Most Homeland Security agents and border officers, as well as other law enforcement agents and officers, keep working.
THIS: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, could shut down. It provides supplemental food, health care referrals and nutrition education for pregnant women, mothers and their children.
BUT NOT THIS: School lunches and breakfasts will continue to be served, and food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, will still be distributed.
THIS: A shutdown that lasts two weeks or more would probably start to slow an already sluggish economy, analysts say. Closures of national parks would hurt hotels, restaurants and other tourism-related businesses. And federal workers who lost pay would spend less, thereby curbing economic growth. A three-week shutdown would slow the economy's annual growth rate in the October-December quarter by up to 0.9 of a percentage point, Goldman Sachs has estimated. If so, that could mean a growth rate of 1.6 percent, compared with the 2.5 percent that many economists now forecast.
BUT NOT THIS: Little impact on the economy if the shutdown only lasts a few days.
THIS: Economic data will be interrupted as the Bureau of Labor Statistics ceases almost all operations. This will leave the stock market without some of the benchmark economic indicators that drive the market up or down. The key September jobs report, due Friday, could still be released on time if the White House authorizes that, but that's not been determined. Statistical gathering also is being interrupted at the Commerce Department and Census Bureau. This means the government won't come out on time with its monthly report on construction spending Tuesday or a factory orders report Thursday.
BUT NOT THIS: The weekly report on applications for unemployment benefits is still expected Thursday. The Treasury Department's daily report on government finances will be released normally and government debt auctions are to proceed as scheduled. And at Commerce, these functions continue, among others: weather and climate observation, fisheries law enforcement and patent and trademark application processing.
THIS: Some passport services located in federal buildings might be disrupted — only if those buildings are forced to close because of a disruption in building support services.
BUT NOT THIS: Except in those instances, passport and visas will be handled as usual, both at home and abroad. These activities of the Bureau of Consular Affairs are fully supported by user fees instead of appropriated money, so are not affected. As well, the government will keep handling green card applications.
THIS: The Federal Housing Administration, which insures about 15 percent of new loans for home purchases, will approve fewer loans for its client base — borrowers with low to moderate income — because of reduced staff. Only 67 of 349 employees will keep working. The agency will focus on single-family homes during a shutdown, setting aside loan applications for multi-family dwellings. The Housing and Urban Development Department won't make additional payments to the nation's 3,300 public housing authorities, but the agency estimates that most of them have enough money to keep giving people rental assistance until the end of October.
BUT NOT THIS: It will be business as usual for borrowers seeking loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which together own or guarantee nearly half of all U.S. mortgages and 90 percent of new ones.
THIS: Possible delays in processing new disability applications.
BUT NOT THIS: Social Security and Medicare benefits still keep coming.
Associated Press writers Sam Hananel, Matthew Daly, Joan Lowy, Kevin Freking, Hope Yen, Lauran Neergaard, Andrew Miga, Deb Riechmann, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Lolita C. Baldor, Jesse Holland, Mary Clare Jalonick and Alicia Caldwell in Washington; and Felicia Fonseca at Grand Canyon National Park, contributed to this report.


Dr. Information

At the end of the day, of the estimated 40 million that are uninsured, 30 million will still remain uninsured. Wanna bet?


If Obozo can relieve himself in one hand and wish in another which one will fill up first. Generally
when Obozo tells you how it supposed to work he gives the theoretical point of view. Such a blatant liar OBOZO cannot be trusted

Darwin's choice

Here is a copy of his best speech ever for you.


Darwin's choice



How much are we cutting in foreign aid to countries who don't even like us?

Bleeding Turnips

Obamacare is already working great, my wife receives $632 per month in disability. Just received a letter that her medicare premium is going from $36 a month to $70 and her deductible is being raised from $300 to $1,000 per year. Yep, only going after the rich, $7,584 per year is the "new rich."

Dr. Information

This is truly horrible. I am very sorry for your family.


so that's how the GOP won back the house in the 2012 midterms and soon the senate in the 2014 midterms. The great white guilt and rhino republicans killed off the last
general election

The Big Dog's back

Wait until the old white teathuglicans stop getting their Guvment check. ROFLMAO.

The Big Dog's back

All you CONservatives can bend over and kiss your arse goodbye.

There you go again

You always say the nicest things.......

Darwin's choice



Judging by your responses, I feel that it would be safe to assume you have little, if any, formal education. With that being said, I suspect you voted for Obama and accept responsibility for your poor and reckless decision that will ultimately lead to the collapse of America. If you have children, then you are truly despicable and self loathing. Either way, good luck with collecting public assistance when there are no more rich republicans to feed your face.

Bleeding Turnips

Remember what happens when you ASS-U-ME, I have a respectable job, and I'm not on any government assistance and my wife worked as long as she could, however she has a debilitating disease. I never voted Obama. However the majority has spoken and we are stuck with what's coming. It's law and going nowhere. I have two children in college and having to spend another $1,000 + per year on her treatments just takes from them.
I hope you never have to deal with what she does.


Shizz me-thinks a certain person hates America. Never served, isn't Christian. That sounds commie like to me. btw Congress still gets paid - go figger.


Funny, I've been thinking the same thing.

Hates God ,hates Gov't, comments are always filled with " commie speak" --- but he luvvs that money.
I think he just "uses" America to get that money.


Does it really matter? What is going to change? Pope Francis should run for president.


You Obama voters are getting exactly what you can expect when you hire a community organizer over a business man. Tighten down the hatches, because this ride is going to get a whole lot worse before it's over.


Ya think ?


Actually, being a businessman is not a prerequisite for being president, since a country is not a corporation. The Great Depression happened under the auspices of a president who was elected because of his (drum roll please...) business experience. Obama was a Constitutional law professor, which is probably a far more qualifiable prerequisite to being president. It's a silly discussion, since - with 5+ years on the job - he quite obviously has the experience to do the job he has already held.

Actually, we Dems pretty much are getting what we expected from Obama. What no one expected is that the teaparty would hijack the Republican Party, much to the chagrin of...well, everyone else, mainstream Republicans included. At the end of the day, we will still take Obama any day over McCain or (shudder) Romney. Apparently, a majority of Americans agree, or one of the above stuffed shirts would be in the White House.

Obama's only mistake, as a reasonable man, was to assume that Republicans would be reasonable, as well. They are a people for whom ideology is way way way more important to them than America and Americans, and unfortunately, there seems to be no effective way to deal with teaparty anarchists. Their own party can't reel them in, so it's not a surprise that Obama can't do so either.

Darwin's choice

In the top democrats own words..


How about that, cheerleader???


Re: "since a country is not a corporation,"

Yea, but even not-for-profits go broke if they spend more than they take in.

The only thing that the U.S. has goin' for it is that it has a Federal Reserve printing money outa "thin air" and it has the reserve currency which allows the govt. to spend recklessly.

Russia, China and others are working to replace the $US as the world's reserve currency.

"...the dollar as a percentage of total world money supply. That total has plunged from nearly 90 percent in 1952 to closer to 15 percent now."


Cheap money & Progressive "something for nothing" policies have helped to bring about the demise of the U.S.' Golden Age.

Dr. Information

This country is not a business? Ummmm ok??????

Ned Mandingo

The government should fear the shutdown not affecting us. Maybe then people will realize we don't need a big government.


I saw a Jimmy Kimmel man-on-the-street skit where they were interviewing "regular" folks. The question posed was "Which do you oppose? The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare?" --Of the two respondents they showed, both were adamant about how much they opposed Obamacare but were totally supportive of the ACA-- just goes to show you how stupid and uninformed many Americans are (obviously Faux News viewers). Also, rezzy, you can get fairly cheap canned goods from Aldi's with which to stock your bomb shelter.


Re: "Jimmy Kimmel man-on-the-street skit"

The KEY WORD there for any dumbed down Obamabots that would post this mishegas and think that it is useful information: "skit."


My Contango--did you get up on the wrong side of your beddie-by this morning? It was merely an observation on my part that there are alot of teatard/con's who proudly take up that label but haven't a clue. Now, get a cup of coffee and get your fix of Elisabeth Hasselbeck.


Re: "It was merely an observation on my part,"

It was a repetition of nonsense. We expect better from you.

What's next; more politically sophomoric "observations" from Bill Maher and your other Comedy Channel favorites?

On the other hand, nothing quite tops the “Obamaphone Lady” for a classic brain-dead Obamabot:


Will she be giving a speech at the 2016 DNC?



Dr. Information

Don't budge Republicans. Let this train wreck called Obamacare will kill America as its already starting to do. People will eventually wake up when they don't have the pay or hours they once did and finally vote some new blood in to rectify things.