Despite the bitter feud between the Trump Administration and Democratic lawmakers over the controversial idea that borders matter, it looks like we’re going to avoid a government shutdown after all…
A recent dust-up in the Oval Office put the differing opinions and positions on full view for the American people. Pres. Trump called for an open and transparent meeting by allowing the media camera access. What transpired shocked the country as Democrat leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi focused their statements on who would be to blame for the shutdown.
Sen. Schumer was adamant that the president would be solely responsible for a shutdown if he rejected the $1.6 billion in border funding. The Department of Homeland Security has a minimum request of $5 billion to secure immediate and imminent border incursion threats. But what turned the confrontation on its head was Pres. Trump saying he would be “proud” to shut down the government rather than allow drugs, rapists, murderers and terror threats to continue to penetrate the U.S.-Mexico border. All bets are off and these are realities about the impending government shutdown.
Thankfully for everyone involved, the government doesn’t look like it’s going to shutdown…for now. But, with shutdown threats being a near constant in our politics, it’s past time to examine what actually happens when they occur. Here are six things to consider:
1: Department of Homeland Security Will Be Impacted
Because a recent $1.2 trillion spending bill was already passed, most federal agencies have funding for operating expenses in place. Others had only until Dec. 21 and “essential” personnel would still report for work. What seems almost ironic is that the DHS would be impacted. Law enforcement and border patrol agents are considered essential and are expected to remain in place. Many may be forced to work without pay if reserves are depleted.
2: National Parks Expected to Remain Open
Unlike the Obama-era shutdown that shuttered national parks for basically no reason, the Trump Administration used a caveat to keep the lands available. Advisors including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney found a solution that sent park workers home but left the grounds open. In essence, many national parks would just stop charging admission fees to the delight of visitors.
3: Other Major Agencies Impacted
With approximately 75 percent of funding in place, significant agencies in the other 25-percent minority reportedly include the following departments:
- Housing and Urban Development
These agencies will be impacted at differing levels with only essential personnel working during the shutdown.
4: These Independent Agencies Expected to be Impacted
While a substantial focus falls on law enforcement and defense during government shutdowns, independent agencies such as NASA, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency would also be expected to close. The FDA would have to suspend its routine inspections temporarily, and the EPA approval process will slow and stop in some cases.
5: Thousands of Essential Personnel Would Go Without Checks
In a shutdown scenario, an estimated 420,000 essential employees are expected to show up for work. When reserves run dry, they will be required to go to work and not get a weekly paycheck. The largest group includes law enforcement officers from the following agencies:
- The FBI
- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
- The Drug Enforcement Administration
- The U.S. Border Patrol
- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
For those traveling, airport screenings would be expected to continue. However, unpaid workers tend to take a vacation and personal time. American citizens would have to expect longer wait times.
6: Thousands Expected Would Be Furloughed
Upwards of 380,000 employees would be furloughed without pay in a shutdown scenario. When previous shutdowns occurred, furloughed workers were eventually compensated for the work stoppage with back pay. Although back pay has been a past policy, it will do little to help workers in a protracted shutdown. Democrats buckled during the last one, and an Obama-era shutdown lasted only 17 days. This fight appears much more severe as the liberal voting base is expected to penalize Democrats that yield money for a border wall.
Of course, all of these thing were avoided in the eleventh hour — but with Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives, the obstruct agenda can only get more aggressive. There is only one thing certain going into 2019 — this will not be the last time we talk about government shutdowns.
~ Liberty Planet