Politics

Government Shutdown: What Is Open And Closed In Georgia?

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(Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

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ATLANTA (WAOK/FOX 5) — With the government shutdown underway, many American citizens and workers are already feeling the effects of it.

Here is a look at what is open and closed during the shutdown.

AIR TRAVEL

Airlines will remain open as federal air traffic controllers and airport screeners remain active. Federal inspectors for airlines shall continue to enforce safety rules and regulations for all flights

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

Fees collected to finance passport and visa services will continue as the Department of State will continue to accept and process applications for U.S. passports and foreign visas. Embassies and consulates overseas will continue to provide services to American citizens as well.

MAIL

Due to the U.S. Postal Service relying on income from postal fees and receiving no tax dollars for day-to-day operations from the government, mail will still be delivered.

FEDERAL COURTS

Federal Courts will continue to operate for approximately 10 business days after the start of the shutdown. Employees whose work is not considered as “essential” will be furloughed if the shutdown continues after 10 business days, however cases will continue to be heard.

BENEFIT PAYMENTS

Unemployment benefits will still be sent out, as well as benefits from Social Security and Medicare will not stop, although there will be delays in the processing of new disability applications.

RECREATION

National parks across the U.S. will be closed. For the state of Georgia, this means that all of the recreation ran by the National Park Service, including the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, and overnight campgrounds and park facilities will be closed indefinitely.

HEALTH

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention will be severely affected in spotting and investigating disease outbreaks around the world. In addition, medical research at the National Institutes of Health will be delayed and new patients will not be accepted into clinical research, however current patients will continue to receive care.

FOOD SAFETY

The Food and Drug Administration will handle high-risk recalls, but will suspend most routine safety inspections. Federal meat inspections will be expected to proceed as usual.

HEAD START

Roughly 20 out of 1,600 Head Start Programs around the nations will feel the impact of the government shutdown instantly. The Federal Administration for Children and Families say grants that expire on or after Oct 1 will not be renewed.

FOOD ASSISTANCE

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Programs for Women, Infants and Children, otherwise known as WIC will be shut down. School breakfast and lunches will continue to be served, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more popularly known as (SNAP) food stamps will also continue to be distributed.

TAXES

Although the government has shutdown, Americans still must their pay their taxes and file federal tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service, better known as the IRS, will suspend all tax audits however taxpayer services such as toll-free help lines, will be shut down.

LOANS

Low-to-moderate income borrowers and first-time home buyers who are seeking government-backed mortgages will face delays during the shutdown. The Federal Housing Administration, which guarantees approximately 30 percent of home mortgages throughout the country, will not underwrite or approve any new loans during the shutdown. Action on government-backed loans to small businesses will be suspended as well.

SCIENCE

The National Weather Service will continue to forecast weather and issue warnings for inclement weather.

HOMELAND SECURITY

The Department of Homeland Security will continue to keep active its employees. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will continue to process green card applications.

MILITARY

President Obama signed a bill late Monday that ensures the military and its 1.4 million active duty personnel will stay on duty and be paid accordingly. Half of the Defense Department’s civilian employees will be furloughed.

VETERANS SERVICES

Because lawmakers approve money one year in advance for the Department of Veteran Affairs, most services offered by the department will still continue. Hospitals for inpatient care shall continue and veterans will get mental health counseling at vet centers and prescriptions filled at VA health clinics. Veterans appealing the denial of disability benefits to the Board of Veterans Appeals will have to wait longer for decisions however.

WORK SAFETY

Federal occupational safety and health inspectors will stop workplace inspections except in cases of imminent danger.

PRISONS

All 116 federal prisons will remain open, and criminal litigation will proceed

Written by: Sherman H. Smith Jr. (Intern/WAOK)

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