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Government Shut Down, Just What Does This Mean?

Government Shut Down, Just What Does This Mean?

Democrats have have stalled the vote insisting that any deal must formalize the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects some illegal immigrants from deportation. Republicans, who hold 51% of the Senate seats, need at least nine Democrats to join in order to pass a 60-vote threshold for a short-term budget measure.

Military and other national security funding is on hold as well as community health centers and children’s medical insurance.

A shutdown  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.

The Republican architects of the tax law promised that millions of working Americans will see heftier paychecks next month, with less money withheld by employers in anticipation of lower income taxes. The IRS recently issued new withholding tables for employers. It’s a ‘virtual certainty’ that the larger paychecks will be delayed if there’s a lengthy government shutdown.

Half of the more than 80,000 employees will be sent home. HHS programs including the seasonal flu program will come to a halt.

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, which covers about 9 million kids. However, long-term funding for the program will run out soon unless Congress acts to renew it.

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 will also continue working. His office is paid for indefinitely.

Criminal cases will continue, but civil cases will be postponed.

Passport and visa processing, will not shut down.

The U.S. military will continue to fight wars and conduct missions around the world, including in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. And members of the military will report to work, though they won’t get paid until Congress approves funding.

National Guard forces heading out to do weekend training duty around the country will arrive at armories and be told to go home.

The workforce at the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies will be pared down.

90 percent of Homeland Security employees are considered essential and will continue to perform their duties during a government shutdown.

That means most Customs and Border Protection and Transportation Security Administration workers will stay on the job.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be staffed at about 78 percent, meaning more than 15,000 of the agency’s employees will keep working. The Secret Service, also part of Homeland Security, will retain more than 5,700 employees during the shutdown.

The Interior Department says national parks and other public lands will remain as accessible as possible.

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.

Controllers and aviation, pipeline and railroad safety inspectors are among those who would continue to work.

Most national parks close during government shutdowns. The agency controls 417 different ‘units’ from American Samoa to Maine. Of these 417 ‘units’, 59 are national parks.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that he would use state funds to keep the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island – together comprising the Statue of Liberty National Monument – open.

The vote is at noon.

 

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Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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