Oct 03 2013
As you may know, the fiscal year ended at midnight on September 30, 2013. Congress was unable to reach an agreement on a continuing resolution and the federal government shutdown. How does this affect your access to Congressional facilities and what agencies and services will be affected?
- Seventh Congressional District Grand Strand Office-Interrupted service; however, if you have casework concerns please contact my Washington office.
- Seventh Congressional District Pee Dee Office-Interrupted service; however, if you have casework concerns please contact my Washington office.
- Seventh District Washington Office- Open to the public, but limited staff available.
Agencies and Services NOT Affected
- Active Military Personnel – The House passed legislation on Sunday to pay active military personnel even if the government shut down. The Senate passed the same bill on Monday and the president signed it late Monday night.
- Entitlement Programs/Non-Discretionary Spending – Anything that is referred to as non-discretionary spending or entitlement programs will continue to operate normally. This includes Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. You will continue to get your Social Security checks and you can continue to apply for Social Security benefits.
- Safety/Security – As a general note, anything that is necessary to protect public health, safety, or property will remain open and running. So, for example, the TSA will continue to operate as normal.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Unemployment Benefits – You will continue to receive both SNAP and unemployment benefits.
- US Postal Service – This functions as an independent business unit, so you will continue to get your mail.
- Disaster Response – Disaster response will not be affected. However, non-disaster grants such as preparedness programs will be postponed.
- Food Safety/FDA – Food Safety and Inspection Service will continue all safety-related activities. The FDA would continue to monitor recalls and conduction investigations.
- Veterans – Veterans should be able to continue to receive compensation for service or combat related injuries, however the Department of Veterans Affairs has said funding may run out by the end of October if the shutdown isn’t resolved by then. In addition, the VA has said home loans are funded with user fees and should continue. For more info on how the shutdown will affect veterans, click here.
- Federal Housing Authority – The FHA has said it will continue to make new loans because they use a multi-year appropriations authority.
- ObamaCare Exchanges – The ObamaCare exchanges opened October 1st for enrollment. If you have questions the exchanges, please visit www.healthcare.gov.
- Federal Retirement/Pensions – Federal employees' retirement payments will not be affected.
Agencies and Services Affected
- Capitol Tours – The Capitol Building will be closed to tours.
- Passports – The State Department has some funds to operate on without the congressional appropriation, so it will continue to function as long as possible. However, if you have need for a passport anytime soon, you should get your request in as quickly as possible.
- National Parks – National parks will be closed. Campers already there will be given two days to leave.
- Public Museums – Museums like the Smithsonian, the National Zoo, and the Holocaust Museum will all be closed. However, private museums like the Spy Museum and the Newseum will remain open.
- WIC – There will be no money to pay the administrative costs for WIC. It is administered by the states, however, so there may be state funds available.
- Meals on Wheels – Meals on Wheels will be affected by the shutdown.
- Center for Disease Control – If this shutdown mirrors the shutdowns in the 1990s, the CDC will close.
- Small business loans – Government funded small business loans and mortgage insurance applications will not be processed.