Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Non-Recreational Effects of the GOP Government Shutdown

Worth noting (via maybe not best news piece but one i saw this morning)...because the important stuff does not have to do with campgrounds.
  • Adults and children receiving treatment for cancer through the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are being sent away.
  • The National Institutes of Health (parent organization for the NCI) has shut down their hotlines and will not accept any new patients for clinical trials. This also includes kids with cancer, by the way, as well as patients involved in other clinical trials. Each week the shutdown goes on, an estimated 200 new patients will be turned away, 30 of them children.
  • 800,000 federal workers are furloughed without pay.
    • The EPA is essentially completely shut down — 94% of its workers are off the job.
    • The Center for Disease Control has furloughed 68% of its workers. Fantastic timing, with the autumn flu season almost upon us.
    • The Department of Defense has laid off about half of its staff — basically all of its civilian workers.
    • All but 38 of the FCC’s 1716 employees have been sent home. If Apple comes out with a new iPhone, it won’t receive FCC approval until the shutdown ends.
  • By the way, the various workers being told they must stay on the job — such as air traffic controllers, Social Security workers, and border security — are also being told in some cases they can’t necessarily count on being paid for their work during the shutdown.
  • Routine FDA safety inspections are suspended. (Meat inspections continue, though.)
  • FAA safety inspectors and NTSB accident inspectors are furloughed. Better not have any major plane crashes.
  • The Library of Congress, an invaluable tool for research, is closed. So is the National Archives and Records Administration.
  • No matter how serious a manufacturing flaw may be, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will not issue any automobile or truck recalls.
  • It’s hit or miss as to which ones, but many federally-run websites are offline. (Yeah, the ‘Panda-cam’ is off, too.)
  • Head Start programs throughout the country are shutting down.
  • All that cool news from the Curiosity rover on Mars? It stops. 97% of NASA is furloughed. Curiosity will be put to sleep. All NASA research stops.
  • Federally-funded SBA (Small Business Administration) loans stop.
  • Tax cheats: Guess what? Lucky you — no audits during the shutdown. On the other hand, if you have tax questions, don’t call — the IRS phone help lines aren’t being answered.
  • If you’ve lost your Social Security or Medicare card, you’re out of luck until the government restarts. Also, it’s very likely that new applications for benefits won’t be processed until then, too. Don’t bother asking for those income/benefit letters either.
  • Passport and Visa applications may be delayed.
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), wherever federally funded, is suspended.
  • When WIC (the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) runs out of money at the state level, no more help there.
  • If the shutdown lasts longer than two or three weeks, the Veterans Administration says they won’t be able to keep paying benefits, beginning in November.
  • Gun owners: Your federal gun permit applications will be delayed. That get your attention?
  • The BATF won’t issue permits for new distilleries, wineries, or breweries.
  • New and pending drilling and mining permits are on hold.
  • Also likely, based on past shutdowns, bankruptcy cases, enforcement of child support (the feds get involved when it crosses state lines), and the training and certification of federal law enforcement officials will be suspended.
  • In fact, the DoJ will be filing briefs to suspend all civil (but not criminal) litigation for the duration.
  • Processing of federal aid requests resulting from the recent floods in Colorado and New Mexico, and any other disasters, will be suspended. (The National Guard and Army Corps of Engineers will intervene in emergencies, but after you’re dropped off at the Red Cross shelter, you’re on your own. Better have damned good insurance.)


  1. NSA and the rest of the eavesdroppers are still watching. The bombs are still being dropped. The funds continue to flow to plenty of gov branches.

    Kind of puts a fine point on what the government is all about.

    Great trip. A real pleasure to follow along.

  2. At least the Tea Party knows they can hold the rest of the country hostage... rumor has it that Gingrich is out of retirement and orchestrating from his bunker lol ;-)

    Good thing you weren't planning on being in Yosemite this week.


  3. A government shutdown can only bring a lot of disadvantages to US economy.


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