Tools & Information
Everything you need to know about a government shutdown
The federal government has been in a partial shutdown since Dec. 22 because funding for many agencies has lapsed. This already has complicated many lives — those of federal workers and the millions of Americans who rely on them. Here are the answers to questions you might have about how the shutdown could affect you or your neighbor.
Partial Government Shutdown - Ethics FAQ for Employees
The Department of the Interior (DOI) has received a number of ethics questions from employees furloughed during the partial government shutdown. The following guidance is provided to help employees comply with the ethics laws when seeking non-Federal employment and/or when offered gifts from non-Federal sources.
Furlough Guidance | OPM
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has prepared human resources guidance for agencies and employees in the event of furloughs. There are two types of furloughs
Coast Guard Mutual Assistance | National
The Coast Guard Mutual Assistance is an independent non-profit charitable organization of United States Coast Guard people assisting the Coast Guard family, including active duty, retired military.
Chefs for Feds: Feeding people impacted by the Government Shutdown
If you’re a restaurant, food truck, non-profit, or business interested in serving meals in your community to some of the 800,000 federal employees impacted by the shutdown, we want you! Join World Central Kitchen’s nationwide campaign to provide hot meals to federal employees and their families as part of #ChefsForFeds Nation.
End of shutdown: workers left with debts, bad credit and shattered trust
From the National Park Service to Nasa, the Coast Guard to border patrol, the Internal Revenue Service to the Transportation Security Administration – federal agencies are now filled with workers with damaged credit ratings, missed mortgage payments, new debts and, especially, new doubts about their basic job security and the future.
Recovery from shutdown will be long and difficult
After 35 days of mass furloughs, bureaucratic inertia and a culminating wave of airport delays, nine shuttered federal agencies began laying plans to creak back to life Friday after President Donald Trump announced a short-term deal to reopen the government. It won’t happen overnight.
Former Coast Guard master chief slams administration for shutdown: 'We are so ashamed of you'
The former 12th master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard (2014-2018) and his deputy wrote a scathing rebuke of the current Trump/McConnell government shutdown that has led government employees, like those in the Coast Guard, to find themselves struggling to make ends meet. In Military.com Steven Cantrell and Leilani Cale-Jones write that they have experienced a “flurry of emotions,” from pride in the service of their fellow service men and women, to anger that these “brave men and women (and their families) should have to be subjected to such absurdity in 2019.”
Admiral Karl Schultz
Today, the 418-foot @USCG Cutter Bertholf departed for a multi-month deployment in support of a @DeptofDefense Combatant Commander. Our #USCG members sail across the world to protect U.S. national interests while their loved ones cope w/ financial challenges & no pay at home.
Coast Guard calls out shutdown in video about upcoming deployment
The U.S. Coast Guard acknowledged the partial government shutdown and its impact on Coast Guard families as a cutter and crew departed for a multi-month deployment on Sunday. The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf and 170 crew members left Alameda, Calif. to support military operations in the Indo-Pacific region.
In a video about the deployment, Coast Guard officials noted that due to the lapse in funding, there has been increased "tension and anxiety" among crew members.
Senate GOP blocks bill to reopen Homeland Security and Coast Guard Funding
January 18 | Senate Republicans blocked legislation on Friday that would have temporarily reopened the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) asked to take up a House-passed bill that would fund the department through Feb. 8. It's the third time Democrats have tried to bring up the stopgap measure. It's the third time Sen. Mitch McConnell has blocked the bill to temporarily reopen DHS, which is at the center of the shutdown fight. He's also blocked a bill that would reopen the rest of the impacted departments and agencies several times, most recently on Thursday.
Why many stores can’t accept food stamps during the shutdown
While so far there have been no major lapses in benefits for the nearly 39 million people who depend on food stamps amid the partial government shutdown, 2,500 retailers around the country are unable to take any form of SNAP EBT payments.
42,000 Coast Guard members miss first paycheck due to government shutdown
"The Congress can’t get their act together. The president can’t get their act together, but your community will take care of you," one Coast Guard spouse said. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz released a statement to active-duty members addressing the loss of pay. "To the best of my knowledge, this marks the first time in our Nation’s history that service members in a U.S. Armed Force have not been paid during a lapse in government appropriations," his statement said. He also announced a $15 million donation by USAA Bank, which serves military members and family, to the service's nonprofit relief organization, Coast Guard Mutual Assistance. The American Red Cross will aid in distributing the money to military and civilians employees of the service who need assistance. [We are doing our very best in Traverse City too]
Vets shred Trump: Stop taking us hostage for your ‘vanity wall’
Veterans are slamming Trump for shutting down the government and denying paychecks to nearly 1 million federal workers, all to to try extort billions of dollars to build what some are calling a “vanity wall.” As Iraq War veteran Will Fischer said in a statement, “An attack against federal workers is an attack against veterans.” Fischer, who now serves as director of government relations at VoteVets, noted that the “Trump Shutdown is a veterans’ issue, as much as anything else. To punish them, and their families, and take them hostage, for Trump’s vanity wall is cruel.” Nearly a third of the federal workforce is made up of military veterans, and thanks to Trump’s shutdown, over 250,000 veterans are not receiving their paychecks.
Community hosts fundraiser for Coast Guard members not being paid
GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- As the shutdown continues, Coast Guard members still aren't getting paid. Northern Michigan community members pitched in Saturday night to raise money for Coast Guard members and their families. Dozens of people showed up to Hotel Indigo for a silent auction, live music and a donation event. The event was organized by Freshwater Events and the VFW Cherryland post.
"Whenever you cannot predict when you're gonna get your next paycheck but you know exactly when the bills are due it causes a lot of stress," Retired Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Kenneth Arbogast said. " And for younger members, young families, that's really a challenge."
42,000 Coast Guard members are the only military branch to work without pay during shutdown
The Coast Guard is the only branch of the military whose members will go without pay during the government shutdown. Approximately 42,000 active-duty military members of the Coast Guard remain on duty during the partial government shutdown that began Saturday, but they will work without pay until further notice, according to a statement from a Coast Guard spokeswoman. The Coast Guard is the only part of the military under the Department of Homeland Security, rather than the Department of Defense which continues to be funded during the shutdown.
Furloughed Coast Guard employees can accept donated goods
Some 42,000 members across the Coast Guard are working without pay, including employees at Training Center Cape May. Unlike other branches of the military, the Coast Guard falls under the Department of Homeland Security, not the Department of Defense, which remains fully funded.
Rent Doesn’t Get Furloughed.' Federal Workers Shutdown Drags On
“It’s extremely inhumane of the government to expect federal employees to work without a paycheck,” she says. “It hinders my ability to concentrate on processing my work and serve taxpayers to the best of my abilities. Morale is not high.” All these things, a week ago I wasn’t concerned about, but now it’s a real concern.”
Trump kills Graham effort to end shutdown
President Donald Trump has rejected a plan proposed by a bloc of Senate Republicans who had hoped to break an impasse over the government shutdown, leaving Congress and the White House with little obvious way out of the extended battle over Trump's border wall.
In Our Own Voice
Stories from the 800,000 federal employees who are caught up in the shutdown. We asked them to tell us how much longer they personally could endure a shutdown before experiencing financial setbacks, and how they felt about the fight over the border wall that is at the center of the standoff. More than 200 responded, describing the hardships they face — a sick child, a dwindling supply of prescription drugs, a mortgage in arrears — and the preparations they are making to get by. Here is a selection of their responses. They have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
Coast Guard Academy: Government shutdown hurting operations
NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — Officials at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy say their daily operations are being greatly affected by the partial government shutdown. About 160 of the Connecticut academy’s 260 government-funded nonessential employees have been furloughed.
Coast Guard Suggests Employees Babysit, Hold Garage Sales to Survive Shutdown
About 6,400 members of the Coast Guard are on indefinite furlough, while 2,100 are working without pay after being identified as essential workers. The Coast Guard receives funding from the Department of Homeland Security, and is the only branch of the military without secured appropriations as a result of the shutdown.
Government shutdown could threaten U.S. credit rating
Fitch Ratings warned it could re-evaluate the U.S.'s triple-A credit rating if the government shutdown continues until March 1 and leads to a debt ceiling breach, Reuters reports. Why it matters: A credit downgrade would make it harder for the U.S. government to borrow money and raise borrowing costs. During the 2011 debt-ceiling crisis, Standard & Poor's cut the U.S.'s triple-A credit rating for the first time since 1941.
Northern Michigan breweries feeling effects of government shutdown
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- The government shutdown is now in its third week, and the effects are trickling down to small businesses. Some northern Michigan breweries say if the shutdown continues, it may impact their ability to sell beer. Permits and label approvals all that go through the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, so any changes breweries want to make right now will have to wait.
Millions Face Hunger As Gov’t Shutdown Enters Its Third Week
The federal government is now in its third week of a partial shutdown as President Donald Trump and Democrats have failed to reach a compromise on border security funding. With no end in sight, Americans relying on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to help feed their families could lose their benefits come February.
Air travel may be less safe during the government shutdown, federal inspectors warn
Holding signs saying, “Was your airplane properly repaired and inspected today? The FAA does not know!” at Miami International Airport on Thursday, inspectors spoke with departing airline passengers about what they say is a heightened risk of aviation accidents because of their absence. “My job is the safety of people,” said Charles Banks, 50, a veteran who has worked as an FAA safety inspector for 15 years. “I have family flying too and I can’t protect them from here on the curb.” In Michigan, sheriff’s deputies have been guarding the scene of a fatal plane crash last weekend, waiting for FAA investigators to arrive. The FAA said in a statement that it is limiting investigations to “major accidents involving significant casualties and certain other accidents when failure to proceed with the investigation creates a significant risk to transportation safety.”
Banks and credit unions move to help federal workers hit by shutdown
(CNN)Banks and credit unions that cater to federal workers are readying financial help for their customers as the government shutdown drags on. The assistance includes low- or no-interest payroll advances and loans for workers facing dwindling cash reserves.
A Coast Guard spouse has thoughts about returning her son's Christmas gifts
The shutdown has been a stressful time for some US Coast Guard families, as about 42,000 service members are being forced to work without pay. Kayla says she feels like the Coast Guard has been forgotten in the shutdown, even though it's a branch of the military tasked with protecting Americans. Kayla, whose husband serves in the Coast Guard, says it took a toll on the holiday season.
In an Astonishing Letter, Delta and United Airlines Pilots Just Told President Trump To Stop and Think
“On behalf of the 61,000 pilots of the [ALPA], I am writing to urge you to take the necessary steps to immediately end the shutdown of government agencies that is adversely affecting the safety, security and efficiency of our national airspace system.” https://www.inc.com/chris-matyszczyk/delta-united-airlines-pilots-to-president-trump-cut-nonsense.html
Government Shutdown Leaves Workers Reeling: ‘We Seem to Be Pawns’
“For me, it’s do I consider a car payment or do I pay the gas bill or the phone bill?” said Mr. Kaselionis, who is working on typhoon recovery for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, unpaid and far from home in the United States commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. “Those are conversations within the next week that I have to have with my wife.” “They have to realize that this affects everyday people,” said Ray Coleman Jr., a corrections officer who teaches G.E.D. classes at a federal prison in Florida and is president of his local union. “It affects the boots on the ground. To me, it’s like a political chess game that they’re playing, and we seem to be pawns.”
Michigan feeling the pinch of federal shutdown
At least two of Michigan's five national parks — Keweenaw National Historic Park in Calumet and North Country National Scenic Trail Offices in Lowell — are closed due to the partial government shutdown. Isle Royale National Park is closed for the winter, but the Houghton Visitor Center there is also now closed due to the shutdown. Elsewhere, Transportation Security Administration workers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport and other airports are at risk of missing their next paycheck on Jan. 11. TSA workers fretting they won't be paid have been calling in sick in what the agency dubs "call outs," a problem that so far does not seem to be affecting screening operations.
As Trump Holds Firm on Shutdown, He Never Mentions One Group: Federal Workers
WASHINGTON — He has talked about the need for “protection” along the country’s southern border. He has said he is willing to keep the government shut down indefinitely to ensure the funding of the wall he says will provide that protection. And he has complained about spending the holidays alone in the White House, with no one around with whom he could negotiate. The one thing President Trump has not talked about publicly during 13 days of the partial government shutdown is the 800,000 federal workers who are not being paid because of it.
Trump confirms he's willing to keep government shut down for "years"
Following a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House, President Trump confirmed to reporters that he said he would be willing to keep the government shut down for "a very long period of time, months or even years."
When asked whether there would be any safety net for federal employees who don’t get paid because of the shutdown, Trump said: “Well, the safety net is going to be having a strong border because we’re going to be safe.” Of landlords expecting rent from federal employees, he said he’d “encourage them to be nice and easy” on their tenants. The remarks also came as The Washington Post reported that at the same time thousands of federal workers were going without pay, hundreds of senior Trump political appointees were set to get raises of about $10,000 a year.
National parks face years of damage from government shutdown
When the government eventually reopens, park experts warn reversing damage won't be as easy as throwing out the trash.
Hundreds of TSA screeners, working without pay, calling out sick
"This problem of call outs is really going to explode over the next week or two when employees miss their first paycheck," a union official at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport told CNN. "TSA officers are telling the union they will find another way to make money. That means calling out to work other jobs." A union official, however, said that while some employees are upset about the pay, officers have said they are calling in sick for more practical reasons. Single parents can no longer afford child care or they are finding cash-paying jobs outside of government work to pay their rent and other bills, for example. About a quarter of the government, including TSA and the Department of Homeland Security, have been without funding since December 22. Some 55,000 TSA employees who screen around 800 million passengers a year are considered essential and are among the 420,000 federal workers expected to continue working without pay.
Volunteers helping keep the Sleeping Bear Dunes clean during shutdown
A nonprofit group called Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes is helping out. Volunteers are grooming the Heritage Trail for cross country skiers and snowshoers, maintaining the bathrooms and cleaning the dune climb. "We are doing what we can to keep a relatively good experience with for the visitors here at sleeping bear dunes but it's all based on volunteers," said Kerry Kelly, Chairman of the Board of Friends of the Sleeping Bear Dunes.
impacts on food stamps, Medicaid & WIC in Michigan
According to state officials, a shutdown extending past January could have an impact on Medicaid, food stamps and WIC in Michigan. Bob Wheaton, Public Information Officer with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says that those programs could remain operational for a month or so before the impacts of a shutdown would be felt.
'An Irony': Shutdown Fight Over Border Security Takes Toll On Immigration Enforcement
The E-Verify outage is just one way the government shutdown is taking a toll on the U.S. immigration system. Border Patrol agents at the Southwest border are working, but they won't get paid until the shutdown ends. So are tens of thousands of other immigration agents in DHS. "They are angry, they are scared," said Tony Reardon, the head of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents about 30,000 Customs and Border Protection officers. "They are doing the work of this country, not knowing whether they are going to be able to put food on the table," Reardon said. "The morale is as low as I have ever seen it." Much of the nation's immigration court system is closed, adding to a backlog of more than 800,000 cases and counting.
During shutdown, janitors, security guards, and other federal contractors receive no back pay
While hundreds of thousands of federal workers will have to wait for back pay after the government shutdown ends, thousands more whose pay comes from federal contracts have little hope of recouping the pay they lose when the government isn't operating. "I'm a single mom ... we aren't a two income family or anything. It's just me, and I'm kind of trying to make things meet and if it comes to the point of selling items in the house I'll do that," she said.
He can't pick up his insulin because of the government shutdown. How workers are hurting
As a result of the partial government shutdown, Leo, a tax examiner for the IRS in Ohio, has been out of work for 10 days now. He cannot pick up his more than $200 insulin prescription because he doesn't know when his next paycheck will come. Adding to Leo's frustration is the executive order President Donald Trump issued on Friday that froze federal workers' salaries for 2019.
Trump and top lawmakers fail to resolve shutdown after meeting
Donald Trump and top congressional leaders failed to resolve a partial government shutdown that has stretched well into a second week as the president refused to back off from his demands for billions of dollars for a long-promised wall along the southern US border with Mexico. The shutdown was triggered by Trump’s demand that Congress allocate more than $5bn in taxpayer money to build a wall along the 2,000-mile border between the US and Mexico.
Trump’s Shutdown Is Not About Border Security
An estimated 800,000 federal workers have had their lives upended by this latest presidential temper tantrum. Some 420,000 of those, deemed “essential personnel,” are working without pay. This includes upward of 41,000 law enforcement officials, 54,000 Border Patrol agents and 53,000 Transportation Security Administration workers. (If you flew this holiday season, it was only thanks to these unpaid women and men.) Another 380,000 workers have been furloughed, including 28,800 employees of the Forest Service, 16,000 in the National Park Service and 16,700 at NASA.https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/02/opinion/government-shutdown-2019-trump.html
How the shutdown is reaching a breaking point
Many of the departments and agencies hit by the partial shutdown, which began Dec. 22, have reached a breaking point in their ability to go on with minimal disruption. They are running out of carryover cash and time to prep checks for the mid-month pay period. In a very visible sign of the growing impact of the shutdown showdown, 19 Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will close to the public on Wednesday, their temporary funds exhausted.
Federal Workers, Some in ‘Panic Mode,’ Share Shutdown Fears on Social Media
As the government shutdown continues, federal employees and contract workers across the country described a holiday season marred by increasing financial worries. Some 800,000 federal employees have either been furloughed or will continue to work without pay during the partial shutdown, and it’s unclear how long it will last. Twitter became a platform for them to share growing anxieties and fears, using the hashtag #ShutdownStories.
Government shutdown hits small businesses, federal workers
The shutdown began Dec. 22 when President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats failed to reach an agreement over White House demands for as much as $5 billion in additional funding for a border wall. Both sides are dug in, and there has been little indication that the impasse will be resolved quickly.
Federal workers are suing the US government over the shutdown
"Our members put their lives on the line to keep our country safe," said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. "Requiring them to work without pay is nothing short of inhumane."
Shutdown Worsens Strain on US Immigration System
NEW the shutdown has knocked E-Verify offline. Immigration courts are cancelling hearing, making huge backlog worse. US border agents are working but not getting paid. For a strained US immigration system, political impasse brings more dysfunction.
A Guide to Emergency Powers and Their Use | The Brennan Center
Unknown to most Americans, a vast set of laws gives the president greatly enhanced powers during emergencies. President Donald Trump’s threats to get funding for a wall along the border with Mexico by declaring a national emergency are not just posturing. The Brennan Center, building on previous research, has identified 136 statutory powers that may become available to the president upon declaration of a national emergency, including two that might offer some legal cover for his wall-building ambitions (10 U.S.C. 2808 (a) and 33 U.S.C. 2293 on our list below).