What A Government Shutdown Would Mean For You

Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images.
Donald Trump's first 100 days in office will come to a close this weekend, and he wants to get a lot of things done before hitting that mark. On top of Republicans trying to replace Obamacare and Trump vowing to reveal a new tax plan, Congress also has to pass a federal spending bill before Friday. A government shutdown would mean lots of federal operations coming to a halt, which could mean some frustrating disruptions for you.
The president really wants to overhaul health care before his first 100 days conclude, pushing for Congress to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in the next few days. Republicans couldn't garner enough votes for AHCA last month and introduced an amendment aimed at appeasing conservatives who didn't originally support the bill.
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"The plan gets better and better and better, and it’s gotten really good, and a lot of people are liking it a lot,” Trump said at a news conference last Thursday. “We have a good chance of getting it soon. I’d like to say next week, but we will get it.”
Although it's still unclear how much new support the amendment will gain for AHCA, it's bound to cause tension in Congress, which could make it difficult to reach a compromise on the spending bill. On top of pushing Congress to agree on a budget and totally reform health care, Trump also plans to reveal his plan to cut taxes Wednesday. Discussions about the tax plan will likely take longer than a week, but he's clearly trying to cram everything in before the looming 100th day deadline, which could make it difficult for Congress to actually get anything done.
Here's what will happen if this week proves too much for the members of Congress and the government shuts down.

Some federal employees will stop getting paid

If you work for a federal agency, a shutdown could mean you'll be out of a job for a while. When the government shut down in 2013, agencies funded by congressional appropriations were forced to stop paying employees. Exempted employees (or those considered especially vital) continued working without pay, receiving a paycheck for that time after a funding bill was passed. Furloughed employees can't come into work during a shutdown. About 850,000 employees were put on furlough in 2013, according to The Washington Post.
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The one major agency that wouldn't be affected is the U.S. Postal Service, as it runs on its own revenue.

Homebuyer mortgage approval will be delayed

If you're trying to buy or sell a house, a shutdown could delay that process. IRS and Social Security Administration employees were furloughed in 2013, which held up paperwork for approving mortgages, according to CNBC. Because private lenders usually want to confirm someone's tax records and other finances before giving them a mortgage, a lack of IRS and Social Security Administration would slow down the whole process.

National parks and museums will close

A government shutdown is not the best time to plan a trip to a national park or museum. In fact, don't bother going to Washington D.C. at all, because every public space operated and funded by the federal government will be closed.

Passport approvals could halt

Although the Bureau of Consular Affairs generates revenue that could keep it running in the event of a shutdown, the federal office buildings some of them are located in could close during this period.

Federal small business loans will stop

During the 2013 shutdown, applications for federal small business loans were put on hold when the Small Business Administration (SBA) temporarily shuttered. So, if you're trying to get an SBA-backed loan, expect a delay if Congress doesn't agree on a budget this week.
Of course, if Congress can manage to pull it together and secure a budget by the deadline, things will carry on as normal — well, as normal as anything can be in 2017.
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