Officials stay without work or without payment until Congress sets Budget
WASHINGTON – Faced with the difficulty of finding a budget consensus in the US Congress, the United States government may again paralyze, in a process called shutdown . Thousands of United States public service workers may go on leave as of Friday (9), as occurred for three days in January. Some of those who work, considered “essential”, are without pay. This can have serious consequences: intelligence officials will not work even with the high tensions with North Korea. Important public health research will be discontinued. Military veterans would watch, impotent, their aid request proceedings suspended.
J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Officials, said stoppages could have dramatic impacts if positions were left empty. The longer the shutdown lasts, he says, the worse it gets.
In the event of a standstill, less than half of the 2 million federal workers would be forced to leave the service if the Trump government follows the rules used by predecessors such as Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Some sectors, such as the Post Office and the military, are exempt from licenses.
Still, partial outages can be costly. In 2013, when areas of the federal government were suspended for more than two weeks, 850,000 civil servants went on leave, which cost the government 6.6 million workdays and more than $ 2.5 billion in lost productivity and payments and benefits for workers.
See how the scene was at the time, which can be repeated:
TAXES: The Internal Revenue Service has left 90 percent of its staff on leave, according to the Center for American Progress. About $ 4 billion in tax revenues have been delayed, according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
JUDICIARY: Federal courts, including the Supreme Court, have opened. The Administrative Office of the American Courts said federal courts would be able to survive normally for three weeks without funding.
HEALTH: Hundreds of patients could not register for clinical screening at the National Institutes of Health, according to the WBO. However, accessions to the newly created Obamacare, former President Barack Obama’s public health access plan, began as planned, as well as to Medicare, geared toward the elderly. A program of the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention to track flare-ups has been discontinued.
SOCIAL SECURITY: Pensions and aids for disabled people were issued without any change in payment dates and agencies were open, albeit with limited services. There were delays in the process of reviewing new claims for benefits.
ARMY: The entire military contingent continued to stand, but about half of the 800,000 civilian Defense Department officials were placed under unpaid leave. Almost all were recalled in a week of shutdown, after the agency implemented the Act of Payment to the Army, which had just been approved by Congress.
LOANS: Processing of mortgages and other loans was delayed when creditors were unable to access government services such as income and social security verification number. The Small Business Administration has been unable to process about 700 applications for $ 140 million in credit until the end of shutdown , according to the Congressional Budget Office.
INTELLIGENCE: The workforce of 17 US intelligence agencies would be partially reduced, according to sources close to contingency procedures. An official, on condition of anonymity, said that officials considered essential continue to stand without expectation of payment.
MAIL: Deliveries of the Post Office function normally, as the agency does not receive taxes for day-to-day operations and depends on stamp income and other fees. The 500,000 employees of the Post Office are exempt from licensing.
TRANSIT: Air and rail travelers did not feel much of an impact because security agents and air traffic controllers worked. Passport processing has continued, but with delays, as operations are financed by tariffs and money by Congress.
CHILDREN: Six Head Start programs – a Department of Health program that provides early childhood education to poor children – operating in Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina, serving about 6,300 children were closed for nine days before reopen with money granted by philanthropists, according to the WBO.
VETERANS: The services of the Department of Veterans Affairs continued, including the operation of hospitals.
HEALTH SURVEILLANCE: The meat inspectors of the Department of Agriculture remained in their posts. Statistical reports have suspended publications. The organ’s website was off the air, with a message explaining the shutdown.
NATIONAL PARKS: National parks closed and visitors who stayed overnight received two days to leave, resulting in a loss of 750,000 daily visitors, according to records of the National Parks Conservation Association. According to the National Parks Service, it was a cumulative loss of $ 500 million in visits.
TOURIST POINTS IN WASHINGTON: Famous sights were banned. Barricades were placed at the Lincoln Memorial, Library of Congress and National Archives. The National Zoo closed for visitors.
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