Jeff Zients, the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, laid out, point by point, what would shut down and what would stay open if Congress fails to pass a spending bill before Friday:
As to what would be closed, the Federal Housing Administration — FHA — would not endorse any single-family mortgage loans or have staff available to process and approve new multi-family loans. FHA single-family lending represents a market share of more than 20 percent of overall loan volume of home purchases and refinancings.
There would be no new approvals of SBA-guaranteed loans for business working capital, real estate investment or job-creation activities.
National parks, national forests, and the Smithsonian Institution would all be closed.
The NIH Clinical Center will not take new patients, and no new clinical trials will start.
Those filing paper tax returns would not receive tax refunds from the IRS, and many taxpayers would not be able to receive service from the IRS to help them meet their tax obligations. For example, the 400 walk-in service centers would all be closed.
Permits and other approvals will not be processed, such as permits and clearances the EPA issues to allow building projects to proceed.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration would not be able to conduct regular safety and health inspections. Only emergency passport services would be open. Normal processing will not. Most of the veteran benefits customer support services would be suspended.
Most Department of Defense budget planning in preparation would cease and military personnel will not receive paychecks during a funding lapse.
Customer service will be significantly impacted across the federal government. For instance, if you have a question about your Social Security check or Medicare reimbursement, it may be very difficult to get an answer. Throughout the government, websites and online services will be shut down or at limited functionality.
As to some of the activities that will continue if there’s a shutdown, the FAA would keep the air traffic control system open and safe. FEMA disaster operations would continue. Social Security checks will be sent to beneficiaries. National Weather Service alerts and forecasts, as well as volcano and earthquake monitoring by other agencies, would continue.
U.S. Postal Service would continue mail collection, delivery, and other operations. Custom and Border Protection activity would continue. Military operations in Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq would continue. NASA satellite missions currently in operation would continue. SNAP, or what’s better known as food stamps and other child nutrition benefits would continue. Most federal student aid operations would continue. Core federal law enforcement such as FBI and U.S. Marshals would continue, as would prison and detention operations.
There’s really only one thing that will stop that the federal government should be doing in the first place, and that’s the military. The fact our military would not get paid but Congress would is stunning.
Someone needs to write a bill that reverses that.
As for the rest, I guess I’m a bit underwhelmed. Who cares of the IRS shuts down? If you don’t have your taxes down, you’re about to get a lesson in why procrastination is bad. And I could care less if the EPA shuts down.
The list mostly looks like things that should be handled on the state level, if they should be handled by government at all.