Government shutdown: What ceases, what continues

Administration officials told National Journal on Wednesday that the following government services could possibly cease in the event of a government shutdown:

  • Federal Housing Associate's new home loan guarantees may cease. During spring home buying season, this suspension of new issuances could have a gravely adverse effect on recovery of housing market. Private mortgage lenders across the country could suspend new home loan closings as a result of having no assurance those loans will be guaranteed. Some 30 percent of the market is FHA loans.
  • Small Business Association approval of applications for business loan guarantees and direct loans to small businesses would likely cease, impacting the engines of our economy, which could slow economic momentum.
  • Internal Revenue Service's processing of tax refunds for paper-filed returns (approximately 30 percent of total), and performance of tax audits, would be suspended.
  • Operation of E-Verify activities by DHS would be suspended, which could slow down new hiring.
  • Patent processing will be suspended.
  • Non-emergency consular and passport operations may be suspended, though this is still under discussion with the State Department.

These services would stop:

  • All areas of the National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge Systems will be closed. Limited access to public lands could adversely affect communities that depend on recreational tourism.
  • Smithsonian Institution and National Gallery of Art would close to the public (although Kennedy Center will remain open, due to significant private funding sources).
  • District of Columbia: Trash collection would be suspended for first three days of funding lapse. Public libraries (except for security), and a variety of District offices that perform non-excepted functions, including the Department of Motor Vehicles, would suspend operations.

These critical services would not cease:

  • Social security checks for seniors, people with disabilities and survivors would still go out.
  • Troops would be able to continue to work.
  • Critical homeland security functions such as border security would continue.
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