Garbage won't pile up during this government shutdown


J. David Cox, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said shutdowns can have dramatic impacts as jobs are left unattended.

Eastern time Saturday after members of Congress failed to reach an agreement on spending. An official government estimate said it shaved 0.3% percentage points off of the nation's gross domestic product that quarter, the broad measure of overall economic activity. Many government workers will probably cut back their own spending during the shutdown.

Midlanders found the 2013 partial government shutdown to be mostly a nuisance, they said Friday as they prepared for the possibility of another similar event. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt advised all employees to return to work next week, but said further guidance will be issued the shutdown extends beyond January 26.

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

Dan Poppe, president of the Archer (Nebraska) Cooperative Credit Union, said that was a "nuisance" for those farmers at the time and that his credit union offered customers short-term loans.

The 16-day long federal government shutdown in October 2013 was the most costly on record.

While active duty military personnel will continue going to work, most civilian Department of Defense employees not deemed essential would be furloughed, said Christopher Sherwood, a Pentagon spokesman.

The good news for anyone anxious about the impact of another shutdown is that consumer confidence and business confidence is much stronger today than it was in 2013.

The Administrative Office of the US Courts has said federal courts - including the Supreme Court - could continue to operate normally for about three weeks without additional funding.

One difference from 2013 is that President Donald Trump's administration announced plans to keep national parks open to the public even if there were no park rangers or other employees. And what about the National Parks, monuments, and Smithsonian museums?

TAXES: The Internal Revenue Service furloughed 90 percent of its staff in 2013, the liberal Center for American Progress said.

The US Postal Service won't stop serving residents - you'll still get your mail. Also caught in the grinder is the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health coverage for children through Medicaid and other programs.

Social Security checks, Medicare reimbursements and food stamps would continue flowing. Moreover, the CDC's ability to disease outbreaks will be greatly reduced. There were delays in the review process for new applicants.

Most of the furloughed employees, according to Office of Management and Budget data gathered by The New York Times, worked for NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Departments of Labor, Commerce, and Interior. VA hospitals would remain open and veterans' benefits would continue, but education assistance and case appeals would be delayed, the department said.

The Department of Energy said that since most of its appropriations are for multiple years, employees should report to work as normal during a shutdown until told otherwise. If there was a prolonged lapse in funding a "limited number" of workers may be placed on furlough.

Passports could be delayed if the shutdown lags on.

Airports are still operating, and air traffic controllers and Transportation Security Administration officials are still on the job.