As a government shutdown becomes increasingly likely, ExecutiveGov points you to the stories you need to read to stay up to speed on what a government shutdown means for you.
When Will the Lights Go Off? FAQs on the Shutdown
The Washington Post has an exhaustive list of FAQs on what is likely to happen if Congress doesn’t pass either another continuing resolution or a spending bill encompassing the rest of the fiscal year, which runs through the end of September.
- For example, when exactly will the lights go off, so to speak? The most recent stopgap continuing resolution passed by Congress expires midnight Friday, so a shutdown would go into effect bright and early Saturday.
- Government websites not deemed “essential” will not be updated.
- While tax payments must be postmarked by April 18 to avoid incurring late fees, The Post reports it is increasingly likely the IRS will stop processing paper-based returns, which would mean a delay in refunds for those taxpayers.
- However, mail will still be delivered as the U.S. Postal Service is “self-funded,” The Post reports.
SEC’s IPO Reviews to Grind to a Halt?
A government shutdown also means the Securities and Exchange Commission would delay processing any company filings, which would would “temporarily turn off the spigot on the IPO pipeline,” Reuters reports.
A shutdown means SEC will be unable to review new IPO offerings and those already undergoing the process would grind to a halt.
Essential or Nonessential: That is the Question
POLITICO reports that the conundrum over essential vs. nonessential employees — meaning which employees will have to report for work in the even of a shutdown and which will be staying home — has taken hold on Capitol Hill.
Calling it an existential question, POLITICO reports that each congressional office is responsible for determining which of its staff members should report to work.
However, there is still confusion on the Hill surrounding who meets the “essential” designation.
The office of the architect of the Capitol told POLITICO 75 percent of its 2,600-strong workforce would not report for work.
Shutdown’s Effect on Military
Just this week the House approved a CR that would fund the Defense Department for the rest of the fiscal year, while extending funding for the rest of the government another week. However, because of provisions the Democratic Senate and White House consider unpalatable, that stopgap didn’t get off the ground and Congress and the administration have gone back to the drawing board on negotiations.
Yesterday, while traveling with reporters in Iraq, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, while all military personnel will eventually be paid, troops could take home a smaller paycheck in the short term.
In the event of a shutdown, service members’ mid-month paychecks will only include the pay earned for the first week of the month, which for younger troops, often living paycheck to paycheck, Gates noted, will cause inconvenience.