CS Masthead

mnastatewides

Government Shutdown Enters Second Week

According to the Office of Management and Budget, paychecks are scheduled for delivery to federal workers on Jan. 11. If an agreement between Congress and President Trump isn’t reached by that date, however, they will be held. The partial shutdown has entered its second week — making it one of the longest shutdowns in U.S. history. The shutdown from December 1995 to January 1996 lasted 21 days.
Non-furloughed employees who don’t have special exceptions may not receive pay, but historically all employees have been compensated after the resumption of regular government activity.
The National Weather Service will continue to monitor weather and issue warnings, but all public functions have been canceled and many non-furloughed employees will work without pay.
The Bureau of Land Management website reads, “In the Montana/Dakotas, BLM closures include the Garnet Ghost Town visitor center, Shepherd Ah Nei Recreation Area and the Chain-of-Lakes Complex. All BLM facilities are either closed or will not be maintained for the duration of the shutdown.”
The Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge roads are expected to remain open, but wardens still on patrol may ask visitors to leave certain areas.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-operated campgrounds and parks will be closed nationwide.
Most United States Department of Agriculture programs will remain operational during the shutdown, but that could change if the standoff lasts for more than a few weeks. Representatives from local USDA offices recommend calling ahead to confirm office hours and employee availability.
Benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, are guaranteed through January.
Indian Health Services will remain open, as will the U.S. Postal Service, which is not affected by the shutdown because they have their own budget.
The Senate Appropriations Committee estimates that 41,000 federal law enforcement and correctional officers are being affected, as are employees of the Department of Homeland Security. As estimated 420,000 employees showed up to work without pay during the first week of the shutdown, with another 380,000 employees on furlough.
Federal Housing Administration loans will not be available for home buyers while the partial shutdown is in effect. Small Business Administration loans will also be unavailable and Americans seeking passports will have to wait.
Democrats are expected to pass a 2019 funding bill when they take over the House Jan. 3, but it isn’t clear whether the Senate will have the votes to pass it as well without significant funding for a border wall.