Here’s when shut­down will hurt even more

Belleville News-Democrat (Sunday) - - Insight - BY KATE IRBY [email protected]


Dis­putes over fund­ing for a bor­der wall be­tween trig­gered a par­tial gov­ern­ment shut­down Dec. 22 — and there’s no ap­par­ent end to the im­passe.

Agen­cies out of money in­clude the Depart­ments of Trea­sury, Home­land Se­cu­rity, In­te­rior, State, Agri­cul­ture, Jus­tice, Com­merce, Trans­porta­tion and Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment. Also af­fected are sev­eral smaller depart­ments.

In ad­di­tion to more ab­stract ways the par­tial gov­ern­ment shut­down ob­vi­ously gets worse as time goes on, such as more work pil­ing up and ad­di­tional trash and waste in non-staffed na­tional parks, the longer the shut­down goes, the worse the pain. A time­line of what’s to come:


Fri­day marked the end of the first pay pe­riod that fell en­tirely within the shut­down, mean­ing fur­loughed em­ploy­ees will first miss a pay­check cov­er­ing that pay pe­riod on Jan. 11.


Fed­eral court op­er­a­tions will be cur­tailed. Courts have been op­er­at­ing by us­ing court fees and other rev­enue, but of­fi­cials have said they’ll have to re-eval­u­ate af­ter Jan. 11.


The In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice has not yet an­nounced when it would be­gin ac­cept­ing 2019 tax re­turns, but typ­i­cally it hap­pens in the third week of Jan­uary.


Bil­lions of dol­lars are re­funded to house­holds by the first week of Fe­bru­ary ev­ery year. But a shut­tered IRS won’t be able to process tax re­turns. Peo­ple will con­tinue pay­ing their taxes, but won’t re­ceive re­funds as promptly as usual.

The av­er­age re­fund in 2017 and 2018 was just more than $2,000. FE­BRU­ARY 4: The pres­i­dent has to sub­mit his bud­get pro­posal to Congress by the first Mon­day in Fe­bru­ary. If the shut­down con­tin­ues, typ- ical agency in­put on what that pro­posal should in­clude won’t be avail­able and the bud­get process for the next fis­cal year, which be­gins Oct. 1, will be stalled.

Low in­come house­holds can


re­ceive food aid from the Sup­ple­men­tal Nu­tri­tion As­sis­tance Pro­gram, for­merly known as food stamps. The shut­down puts more than 40 mil­lion peo­ple at risk of hav­ing their ben­e­fits dry up. While Jan­uary ben­e­fits are ex­pected to remain in­tact, it’s un­clear what could hap­pen next month.

States, which rely on fed­eral


fund­ing for big chunks of their bud­gets, will start to feel the sting as money for high­ways, com­mu­nity pro­grams and other ser­vices could be de­layed.

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