Once again, Americans are facing a government shutdown.
Which is bad enough on its own, but this time could happen in the midst of a fragile recovery from the worst financial crisis in over 75 years, and as our nation's military are fighting in two wars.
The other side in this debate says this is about spending. But it's become clear that it is not just about spending; their additional goal is implementing their extreme, anti-women's health social agenda. In the process, they are putting those who depend on government services, documents and employment-- including America's military families-- at risk, and inflicting serious damage to our economy that will cost us more jobs.
While I remain hopeful that a shutdown can still be prevented, my staff has compiled the following information regarding government services in the event a shutdown does occur. For the most current government agency information, visit this web page at the Office of Management and Budget: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/contingency-plans
These critical services would continue:
• Social Security checks for seniors, people with disabilities and survivors would still go out. But new Social Security applications will likely not be processed during any shutdown, as during in the previous shutdowns.
• Troops would continue to serve, though their pay could be put on hold.
• Critical homeland security functions such as border security would continue.
• The Postal Service, which is self-funded, will continue to operate.
• The FAA would keep the air traffic control system open and safe.
• Applications filed with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, such as N-400 applications for citizenship and I-485 applications for adjustment of status to permanent residence, will continue to be processed during any government shutdown.
The following services would likely be affected:
• Unemployment benefits: The federal funds that help states pay the costs of their unemployment programs could be affected depending on the length of the shutdown.
• Veterans’ services: While VA hospitals will remain open, veterans’ benefits could be delayed or reduced, as was the case during the last shutdown.
• National parks: National parks and the National Wildlife Refuge Systems would be among the first places to close if the government shuts down. during the last shutdown.
• Passports: Passport and visa applications will not be processed. In the 1996 shutdown, over 200,000 passport applications and 30,000 daily visa applications went unprocessed.
• IRS processing of tax refunds for some returns would be suspended.
• FHA new home loan guarantees may cease.
• SBA approval of applications for business loan guarantees and direct loans to small businesses would likely cease, impacting the engines of our economy and potentially slowing the economic recovery.
• Farm loans and farm payments would cease.
• Museums: National museums, including the Smithsonian Institution, would close in the event of a government shutdown.
• Access to the U.S. Capitol: Guide and staff-led tours of the Capitol will be cancelled, but the House Gallery will remain open.