Democrats got their way. Funding for many government agencies ended at Midnight after Congressional Democrats blocked a spending bill over border security. Only about 25% of the government will actually shut down. Those deemed essential will have to continue working although it’s unknown when they will get paid. This equates to approximately 420,000 essential workers who will have to work not knowing when their paycheck will arrive and approximately 300,000 who will go on an unpaid furlough.
Those employees who will continue to work and wait to get paid include those who work for the FBI, Border Patrol, Military, TSA and Air Traffic Controllers. Those being furloughed include employees of the IRS, NASA and the National Park Service. The U.S Postal Service is not impacted as it is an independent agency. Social Security checks will continue. Departments such as Veterans Affairs and Heath and Human Services are already funded for the year and will operate as usual.
According to an article on Vox.com since roughly three-quarters of the government has been funded by existing bills many government functions will continue with no impact. The following is a partial break down of government functions that will be impacted from the Vox web site.
Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
- Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are all slated to keep up their operations uninterrupted. All three programs fall under mandatory spending that the federal government has committed to and are not affected by the annual appropriations process.
The US Postal Service
- Post offices will remain operational and mail delivery will continue. The USPS is funded by independent sources of revenue including the sales of products and services so it’s not impacted by the shutdown. .
Veterans hospitals and benefits
- The Department of Veterans Affairs has already secured its funding, so veterans hospitals will maintain their routine operations.
- Veteran disability pay and GI Bill benefits are funded by their own legislation separate from the annual appropriations bills, so those would stay consistent.
- People will still be able to get food stamps and subsidized lunches, at least in the short term but it depends on how long the shutdown lasts. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has limited funding.
- Active duty members of the military are exempt from shutdown but will see delays in pay if the shutdown lasts beyond a payment cycle. In the past Congress has needed to pass separate legislation to ensure the members of the military were paid.
- US Customs and Border Patrol is classified as an essential service, so a majority of its employees are exempt from furloughs during the shutdown through they will likely face delays in pay.
Air traffic control and TSA
- Air traffic controllers are deemed essential and will keep working during a partial shutdown.
- TSA agents are also considered essential so airline travel is not expected to see disruptions.
The federal judiciary
- The judiciary is able to maintain operations for a short period of time after funding runs out by using money it’s gathered from various courts-related fees including funds derived from court filings. The judiciary has said it can keep its operations open for about 3 weeks.
- The IRS has indicated that it plans to furlough a significant number of its workers since tax season has yet to get underway.
State Department services
- People will still be able to obtain passports and visas, although the State Department could curtail issuing them if those services are offered in buildings run by another agency that is shut down.
President Trump has the ability to determine if any service is essential or not so he could deem any government function essential or shut down additional functions.
The current partial shutdown does not have the same impact as the January 2018 shutdown when the Democrats refused to fund government operations over DACA.
As you can see most of us, unless you work for the federal government will not be impacted by this partial government shutdown. More importantly we must support the President in his efforts to ensure border security. Border security continues to be one of the most important issues facing America. There were approximately 11.3 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. in 2016. We cannot allow open borders and we cannot allow immigrants to come to America without vetting. In Europe with it’s open borders the years 2014 to 2016 saw more than 20 fatal terrorist attacks – more than all previous years combined and the highest rate of attack plots per year. In 2017 a total of 62 people were killed in ten completed terror attacks in Europe and an additional 33 plots were thwarted. President Trump takes the safety and security of our nation seriously. Democrats in Congress need to start focusing on the safety and security of our nation instead of partisan politics.
In a recent 5 day ICE operation in New Jersey ICE officers arrested 105 illegal immigrants. Of those about 80% of them had prior criminal convictions and several are wanted by Interpol for crimes in their home countries. The criminal records of those arrested include international warrants and convictions for indecent acts by compulsion causing bodily injury, distribution of psychotropic drugs, fraud, forcible touching of a child, distribution of narcotics, prostitution with a child, endangering the welfare of a child, distribution of narcotics on school grounds, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon, possession and distribution of narcotics, bank fraud, criminal sexual contact, conspiracy to commit robbery and suspicion of being a member of a street gang. All one has to do is keep up with the news releases on the ICE web site (I do) to see the dangerous criminals who cross our border illegally and are arrested by ICE. Imagine how many are not caught.
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