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Congressman Hank Johnson

Representing the 4th District of Georgia

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What the Government Shutdown Means for America

Under the government shutdown, more than 420,000 federal employees are working without pay, including: 

  • More than 41,000 Federal Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers, Including:

    • 13,709 FBI agents

    • 3,600 deputy U.S. Marshals

    • 4,399 DEA agents

    • 2,614 ATF agents

    • 16,742 Bureau of Prisons correctional officers

  • Up to 88 Percent of Department of Homeland Security Employees, Including:

    • 54,000 Customs and Border Protection agents and customs officers

    • 42,000 Coast Guard employees

    • 53,000 TSA employees

    • 5,815 Secret Service employees, including Secret Service agents (including President Trump’s detail) and Uniformed Division Officers (i.e. the ones who protect the White House and the Vice President’s residence)

  • As many as 6,000 Forest Service Firefighters

    Also, under the shutdown, an additional nearly 400,000 federal employees are furloughed without pay

    Some Other Impacts of the shutdown:

  • Safety Could Be Undermined. State and local law enforcement training programs will be stopped. The Department of Justice’s civil litigation efforts against bad actors will halt. Payments to crime victims will stop.

American Diplomats Will Be Put at Risk. The government shutdown will make it harder for the Department of State to physically protect diplomatic personnel and facilities overseas. It will also limit the State Department’s critical risk assessments that inform advisory warnings for American tourists traveling abroad.

Food Safety Inspections Will Be Significantly Curtailed. During a shutdown, the FDA is unable to support most of its food safety activities. It must curtail its inspections of domestic food facilities. For example, in the 16-day GOP shutdown in 2013, the FDA had to delay nearly 360 food safety inspections. 

Consumer Protection Efforts and Identity Theft Victim Services Will Be Stopped. Most staff at the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission will be furloughed. Many services for identify theft victims will halt. In addition, customer service at the IRS will be suspended.

All Visitor Services in the National Parks Will Be Suspended. While the Trump Administration is claiming that the National Parks will be “open” in a shutdown (claiming there will not be barriers put up to prevent entry), the fact is that there will be no services for visitors to National Park Service sites – with restrooms, visitors’ centers, and interpretative programs all closed during a shutdown. Most of National Park Service employees will be furloughed. Also, law enforcement staffing will be sharply curtailed, so visitors’ safety will be put at risk.

During A Difficult Time for Farmers, Critical Services Will Be Stopped. The Department of Agriculture will be forced to close Farm Service county offices throughout the nation and stop providing aid to farmers already hard hit by the Trump trade war. With the dramatic drop in commodity prices brought on by the trade war, many farmers have had to rely on USDA as their lender of last resort to help pay the bills and stay afloat. 

Enforcing Financial Sanctions Against Countries Such as Syria, Russia, and Iran Will Be Curtailed. During the shutdown, nearly all the staff of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), which implements the U.S. government’s financial sanctions against such countries as Syria, Russia, and Iran, will be furloughed. As a result, OFAC’s core functions are mostly stopped, including investigating and penalizing sanctions violations and issuing new sanctions prohibitions and guidelines. 

Small Business Loans Are Halted. A shutdown halts federal loans to small businesses. During a shutdown, the Small Business Administration stops approving applications for small businesses to obtain loans and loan guarantees, which typically amount to $1 billion per month. For example, during the 16-day GOP shutdown in 2013, the SBA was unable to process about 700 applications for $140 million in small business loans.

Home Mortgage Applications Will Be Slowed. In a shutdown, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will see significant delays in loan processing and approvals, due to the required furloughs of most employees. Thousands of people trying to buy a new home or refinance a FHA-insured mortgage are put on standby.