In case you have not heard, the federal government officially shut down on Tuesday, October 1 at 12:01AM EST. Briefly, this means that:
- Most non-essential federal employees will be furloughed (meaning they are put on temporary leave) or will be forced to work without pay.
- National Parks, Museums, and other federal attractions will be closed.
- Delayed processing for passports, visas, gun permits, and other federally regulated items.
- Some federal court cases may be delayed
- Possibly one of the most alarming – federal health organizations may reduce or stop work. This includes the Center for Disease Control, which monitors disease outbreaks.
- Military and law enforcement will still be in effect but workers may be without pay.
- While Social Security and Medicaid will continue, there may be some repercussions such as delayed processing. Veterans will likely also see delays and other cuts affecting benefits.
- Some private organizations/companies will be directly affected due to contracts with the federal government.
The federal government will be affected in various other ways. While not directly affecting most private organizations, certain sectors of the economy will be affected in significant ways. For example, furloughs in the Department of Energy will halt permitting for new energy projects. Also expect a response from Wall Street.
On a more individual level, the shutdown will have far-reaching effects most people will never realize – for example my friends, graduate students doing research with federal agencies, will be unable to continue their normal research during the shutdown.
And then we also have to think about how this plays into the larger picture of the looming debt ceiling – The deadline to find a fix is likely October 17.