What Won't Get Done During a Government Shutdown - NBC10 Boston
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What Won't Get Done During a Government Shutdown

While the shutdown is in place, almost half of the 2 million civilian federal workers are barred from doing their jobs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    What Happens in a Government Shutdown?

    With a possible government shutdown looming, here is a look at how a shutdown would affect the country. (Published Friday, Jan. 19, 2018)

    Although Congress failed to pass a spending bill by midnight Friday, the government won't actually close. But there's plenty that won't get done now that hundreds of thousands of federal employees are barred from working until Washington agrees on a budget plan.

    During the shutdown, U.S. troops will stay at their posts and mail will get delivered, but almost half of the 2 million civilian federal workers are barred from doing their jobs.

    How key parts of the federal government are affected by a shutdown:

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    Trump Rejects Bipartisan Bill, Stalling Government Shutdown

    [NATL] Trump Rejects Bipartisan Bill, Stalling Government Shutdown
    With less than 72 hours to go, talks to avoid a government shutdown have stalled after the president rejected a bipartisan deal.
     
    Democrats want protection for "dreamers," undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. President Trump wants a border wall.
     
    Neither side is budging. 
    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018)

    INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
    A shutdown plan posted on the Treasury Department's website shows that nearly 44 percent of the IRS' 80,565 employees would be exempt from being furloughed during a shutdown. Now, that means 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 have 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.

    But Marcus Owens, who for 10 years headed the IRS division dealing with charities and political organizations, said it's a "virtual certainty" that the larger paychecks will be delayed if there's a lengthy government shutdown.

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    HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENT
    Half of the more than 80,000 employees will be sent home. Key programs will continue to function because their funding has ongoing authorization and doesn't depend on annual approval by Congress. But critical disruptions could occur across the vast jurisdiction of HHS programs — including the seasonal flu program.

    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.

    DNC Takes Trump Campaign, Russia and Wikileaks to Court

    [NATL] DNC Takes Trump Campaign, Russia and Wikileaks to Court in Friday Lawsuit

    The suit seeks damages related to the the hack, claiming the DNC spent more than a million dollars to fix computers and lost even more in donations as a result of publicity surrounding the matter.

    (Published Friday, April 20, 2018)

    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.

    Deep into a tough flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will not be able to support the government's annual seasonal flu program. And CDC's ability to respond to disease outbreaks will be significantly reduced.

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    JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
    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. So will special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russian meddling in the presidential election. His office is paid for indefinitely.

    The more than 95,000 employees who are "exempted" include most of the members of the national security division, U.S. attorneys, and most of the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Marshals Service and federal prison employees. Criminal cases will continue, but civil lawsuits will be postponed as long as doing so doesn't compromise public safety. Most law enforcement training will be canceled, per the department's contingency plan.

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    Justice Department Releases Comey Memos to Congress

    [NATL] Justice Department Releases Comey Memos to Congress

    The Department of Justice has given Congress copies of the memos drafted by former FBI Director James Comey on his interactions with President Trump. Comey says he began the memos after a Trump Tower meeting to brief the president-elect on Russia's claims involving prostitutes. 

    (Published Friday, April 20, 2018)

    STATE DEPARTMENT
    Many State Department operations will continue. Passport and visa processing, which are largely self-funded by consumer fees, will not shut down. The agency's main headquarters in Washington, in consultation with the nearly 300 embassies, consulates and other diplomatic missions around the world, will draw up lists of non-essential employees who will be furloughed.

    Department operations will continue through the weekend and staffers will be instructed to report for work as usual on Monday to find out whether they have been furloughed.

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    U.S. INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES
    The workforce at the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies will be pared down significantly, according to a person familiar with contingency procedures.

    The official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity, said employees who are considered essential and have to work will do so with no expectation of a regular paycheck.

    While they can be kept on the job, federal workers can't be paid for days worked during a shutdown. In the past, however, they have been paid retroactively even if they were ordered to stay home.

    Pompeo Nomination Face Wall of Opposition From Democrats

    [NATL] Democratic Senators a Wall of Opposition to Pompeo Nomination

    CIA Director Mike Pompeo's nomination for secretary of state is seeing a wall of opposition from Democratic senators as Republican lawmakers warn their colleagues not to reject Trump's pick. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, also declined to support Pompeo's nomination. 

    (Published Friday, April 20, 2018)

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    HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENT
    A department spokesman said nearly 90 percent of Homeland Security employees are considered essential and will continue to perform their duties through the shutdown.

    That means most Customs and Border Protection and Transportation Security Administration workers will stay on the job, according to the department's shutdown plan, dated Friday.

    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 if there's a shutdown.

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    INTERIOR DEPARTMENT
    The Interior Department said if there is a government shutdown, national parks and other public lands will remain as accessible as possible. That position is a change from previous shutdowns, when most parks were closed and became high-profile symbols of dysfunction.

    Newborn of Sen. Duckworth Becomes First Baby on Senate Floor

    [NATL] Newborn of Sen. Duckworth Becomes First Baby on Senate Floor

    Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth brought her newborn baby girl, Maile, to a vote on the Senate floor. Previously all children had been banned from the floor until a rule change was made.

    (Published Thursday, April 19, 2018)

    Spokeswoman Heather Swift said the American public — especially veterans who come to the nation's capital — should find war memorials and open-air parks available to visitors. Swift said many national parks and wildlife refuges nationwide will also be open with limited access when possible.

    She said public roads that already are open are likely to remain open, although services that require staffing and maintenance such as campgrounds, full-service restrooms and concessions won't be operating. Backcountry lands and culturally sensitive sites are likely to be restricted or closed, she said.

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    TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT
    More than half — 34,600 — of the Department of Transportation's 55,100 employees would 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 will continue to work.

    But certification of new aircraft will be limited, and processing of airport construction grants, training of new controllers, registration of planes, air traffic control modernization research and development, and issuance of new pilot licenses and medical certificates would stop.

    Trump: 'Nobody Has Ever Been More Transparent Than I Have'

    [NATL] Trump: 'Nobody Has Ever Been More Transparent Than I Have'

    President Donald Trump continued to decry the Russia investigation as a “hoax” Wednesday, and said his team has fully cooperated with Mueller’s investigators. “Nobody has ever been more transparent than I have,” Trump claimed during a joint press conference on trade and North Korea with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Wednesday. Trump also said months of speculation that he would fire special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had proven wrong.

    (Published Wednesday, April 18, 2018)

    At the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, investigations on auto safety defects would be suspended, incoming information on possible defects from manufacturers and consumers would not be reviewed and compliance testing of vehicles and equipment would be delayed.

    The Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, whose operations are mostly paid for out of the Federal Highway Trust Fund, will continue most of their functions. The fund's revenue comes from federal gas and diesel taxes, which will continue to be collected. But work on issuing new regulations would stop throughout the department and its nine agencies.

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    NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
    Dr. Anthony Fauci, the agency's infectious disease chief, said a government shutdown would be disruptive to research and morale at the National Institutes of Health but would not adversely affect patients already in medical studies.

    "We still take care of them," he said of current NIH patients. But other types of research would be seriously harmed, Fauci said.

    A shutdown could mean interrupting research that's been going on for years, Fauci said. The NIH is the government's primary agency responsible for biomedical and public health research across 27 institutes and centers. Its research ranges from cancer studies to the testing and creation of vaccines.

    Trump: CIA Chief Secretly Met With Kim Jong Un

    [NATL] Trump: CIA Chief Secretly Met With Kim Jong Un

    CIA Chief and Secretary of State candidate Mike Pompeo recently met with Kim Jong Un in a secret trip to North Korea, according to confirmation tweeted by President Donald Trump. The United States and North Korea are readying to meet in a possible summit to discuss North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

    (Published Wednesday, April 18, 2018)

    "You can't push the pause button on an experiment," he said.