US: Federal Shutdown’s Uneven Toll: Some Americans Are Devastated, Others Oblivious - PressFrom - US
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USFederal Shutdown’s Uneven Toll: Some Americans Are Devastated, Others Oblivious

03:30  12 january  2019
03:30  12 january  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

What happens in a partial government shutdown? Smithsonian museums, National Zoo close doors

What happens in a partial government shutdown? Smithsonian museums, National Zoo close doors The Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo in Washington, DC, closed their doors Wednesday as the partial government shutdown entered its 12th day. The 19 museums in the Smithsonian Institution's collection and the National Zoo initially remained open during the shutdown, which started on December 22. In a tweet on December 27, the institution said the museums and zoo would close Wednesday, January 2 if there was no deal to fund the government passed into law and signed by President Donald Trump.

ST. LOUIS — Andrea Caviedes and her friend, Ximena Gumpel, live in the St. Louis suburbs, have two children and helped plan a Christmas party together, but when it comes to the partial federal shutdown , now finishing its third week, they might as well live in different countries.

In United States politics, a government shutdown occurs when Congress fails to pass sufficient appropriation bills or continuing resolutions to fund federal government operations and agencies

ST. LOUIS — Andrea Caviedes and her friend, Ximena Gumpel, live in the St. Louis suburbs, have two children and helped plan a Christmas party together, but when it comes to the partial federal shutdown, now finishing its third week, they might as well live in different countries.

DOJ asks federal judge for extension in ObamaCare lawsuit due to shutdown

DOJ asks federal judge for extension in ObamaCare lawsuit due to shutdown The Justice Department is asking a federal judge to pause all briefings related to a motion filed by House Democrats in an ongoing ObamaCare lawsuit because of the government shutdown. 

With the partial government shutdown lurching into its third week, thousands of federal employees are Some TSA screeners have left the job since a government shutdown began and others are Republican support for an emergency declaration is growing in some corners of the party, as GOP

A government shutdown is when Congress doesn’t approve a federal budget for the upcoming fiscal year and nonessential functions of the U. S . government close until lawmakers can agree on a budget. What happens when the government shuts down ?

Ms. Caviedes, 42, a furloughed bilingual loan processor in the Agriculture Department’s rural development program, spent the week visiting her church’s food pantry, applying for unemployment insurance and job hunting at Walmart and Walgreens.

“It has been terrible,” said Ms. Caviedes, a single mother whose 10-year-old son is partially blind and autistic. “My rent bill is due, my electric bill is due, my water bill is due, and I have medical expenses.”

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For Ms. Gumpel, 46, whose husband works at a chemical company, the shutdown is no more than a recurring segment on the nightly news. She feels for her friend, but “it hasn’t affected me at all,” she said. “You kind of push it aside and figure it will pass, that it’s just political bickering.”

TSA union says airport screeners are quitting as government shutdown continues

TSA union says airport screeners are quitting as government shutdown continues The agency employs over 50,000 people

A US government shutdown happens if lawmakers in Congress do not pass enough funding to run government operations and agencies. This means that much of the government workforce is placed on an unpaid leave of absence, known as a furlough, and told not to work.

From October 1 to October 17, 2013, the United States federal government entered a shutdown and curtailed most routine operations because neither legislation appropriating funds for fiscal year 2014

After all, the schools are still open, the mail is still being delivered, the trash is still being picked up, the buses are still running and, most important, her family’s income is uninterrupted.

The shutdown’s day-to-day impact on Americans — both federal employees and the people who depend on the services they provide — shifts radically from workplace to workplace and neighbor to neighbor. On one side of the divide, the shutdown is inescapable; on the other, it is all but invisible.

Some large-scale ordeals, like a recession, are pervasive, quickly gumming up the economy’s gears and seeping into the national psyche. But the fallout from this stoppage is wildly uneven, zigzagging across communities and workplaces in unexpected ways, and fracturing Americans’ reactions to the shutdown as well as the ways they experience it.

Some reverberations depend on location. The shutdown touches one quarter of the federal government. The District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia have large concentrations of federal employees, but about four-fifths of the roughly 800,000 of them who are not being paid live and work outside the capital’s orbit. Thousands are in crowded urban areas in populous states like California, New York, Texas and Florida. Thousands more are in smaller cities and remote areas, where they often power the local economy, spending their paychecks at restaurants, gas stations, nail salons and stores.

Realtors Say the Government Shutdown Is Sinking Home Sales

Realtors Say the Government Shutdown Is Sinking Home Sales The U.S. housing market, already losing steam, is taking another hit from the government shutdown, delaying closings and damaging buyer confidence, according to a National Association of Realtors survey. About 20 percent of 2,211 agents surveyed by the group said they had clients who were impacted in some way by the shutdown that began on Dec. 22, the organization said today. Among those that reported problems, 9 percent said clients who were federal employees had held back from buying, while 25 percent said buyers pulled out simply because of “economic uncertainty,” according to the report.

Why are many Americans oblivious to being serial waste generators? In the United States, where recycling programs have been operating in full force for years, some experts believe the answer to reducing waste lies in charging for its disposal by weight or other metrics.

The United States federal government shutdowns of 1995 and 1995–96 were the result of conflicts between Democratic President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress over funding for Medicare

The scattershot nature of what is funded and what is not is also varying the experience of public-sector workers and private citizens. Agencies including the Pentagon, Veterans Affairs, and Social Security are operating because of appropriations bills that already passed. Others like Homeland Security, Justice, State, Interior, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection, and Commerce are not.

So military bases are open, Social Security checks are going out, and G.I. benefits are being processed. But farmers affected by the tariffs are unable to apply for emergency aid; tenants who depend on federal housing subsidies to cover their rent are facing eviction; private contractors working for the federal government are not getting paid, and rural homeowners and businesses who need a mortgage extension or guarantee cannot get one.

[Farm country has stood by President Trump. But the shutdown is pushing it to breaking point.]

In Boulder, Colo., where hives of researchers, engineers and scientists are variously funded by universities, private businesses, nonprofit organizations and the federal government, the effects can diverge from one desk to the next.

Air traffic controllers' union sues over unpaid work during government shutdown

Air traffic controllers' union sues over unpaid work during government shutdown A union that represents thousands of U.S. air traffic controllers filed a lawsuit against the federal government on Friday claiming its failure to pay the workers during an ongoing partial government shutdown could endanger passengers' safety. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The National Air Traffic Controllers Association said that requiring 16,000 controllers to work without pay violates their constitutional rights and a federal wage law in a lawsuit in federal court in Washington D.C.

A shutdown occurs when Congress can't agree on a budget. Not all departments close. Some security screeners have called in sick. The immediate effect is on furloughed government employees and Americans who depend on suspended services. Other U. S . Government Shutdown Examples.

The shutdown showdown unfolding right now is about much more than government funding. It is about two different portraits representing the American identity. The Trump-GOP viewpoint sees our country as one that is , first and foremost, Caucasian.

Depending on who is providing the cash or sponsoring the research, colleagues who normally work side-by-side have vastly different prospects like the rows of numbered steel briefcases on the game show “Deal or No Deal” that can contain a disappointing penny or a million-dollar jackpot.

Consider the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The staff there falls, in essence, into three camps, explained Waleed Abdalati, the institute’s director.

Worst off are people employed directly by the federal government who cannot work and are not getting a paycheck.

Then there are those paid by the university whose income is intact but who are locked out of their federal offices and may even be temporarily cut off from their research data.

The last group comprises university professors, researchers, students and others who are unaffected. For them, Mr. Abdalati said, it’s: “Shutdown? What shutdown? I am not feeling anything.”

The first days of the stoppage in late December had the discouraging but familiar feel of previous short-term budgetary standoffs between the president and Congress. Many private businesses were also closed or operating with skeleton staffs through the holidays. But as the work world revved back to life after the new year and many federal offices remained dark, the ripples extended further.

Trump, Democrats and GOP draw disapproval over shutdown - CBS News poll

Trump, Democrats and GOP draw disapproval over shutdown - CBS News poll New CBS News poll finds Americans are concerned about the impact of the government shutdown, poised to be the longest in U.S. history

During a shutdown , nearly 40% of the government workforce is placed on unpaid furlough and told not to work. Many, but not all, are non-defense federal employees. The analysis, which based its numbers off previous shutdowns , also predicted potentially devastating ramifications for the economy.

The government shutdown has taken an uneven toll on the sprawling universe of federal websites. Looking for information on offshore oil drilling permits or endangered species? You’re out of luck — the Interior Department has shuttered the websites of its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and its

[Air travel is starting to be affected as a growing number of security agents are refusing to work for no pay.]

Twenty-six miles from the Boulder campus is the sprawling Denver Federal Center in Lakewood with 28 agencies spread across 44 buildings. Its low-slung buildings, ringed by wire fence, were abnormally quiet this week.

Across the street, at a barbershop called Sport Clips, April Guerrero, 47, said business was way down, because so many people were now on furlough.

This has meant a pay cut of several hundred dollars for employees, who receive minimum wage and count on bonuses to pay rent. “The majority of girls this week didn’t get bonuses,” she said. “I’m trying to push it to the back of my mind, but eventually it’s going to affect all of us.”

One of the few customers that day was Lauren Kramer, 33, a furloughed microbiologist for the Food and Drug Administration, who brought her son Wade, 10, for a haircut. After Wade had climbed into the black leather barber chair, Ms. Kramer put her face in her hands, clawing nervously at her chin.

She had turned down high-paying jobs in the pharmaceutical industry for what she thought was a “stable” job with the federal government.

Now Ms. Kramer, a single mother, found herself picking up food provided through a county program, unsure of when her next paycheck would arrive. “I felt demoralized,” she said. “I felt like a lot of the efforts that I have made in my life, the hardships I have had to endure to get to where I am, was just kind of taken right out from under my feet.”

When she told her best friend, Jessica Rasmussen, 31, about her situation, Ms. Rasmussen was initially unsure what getting “furloughed” even meant. “It hasn’t affected me at all, it makes me feel terrible,” said Ms. Rasmussen, a vocal teacher who is struggling with the thought that as she considers buying her first home, her best friend is worrying about feeding her son.

IRS recalls 36,000 more workers to process tax refunds -- without pay

IRS recalls 36,000 more workers to process tax refunds -- without pay The Internal Revenue Service is recalling tens of thousands of additional federal employees with less than two weeks before tax filing season begins. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The federal tax collector said Tuesday in an undated government shutdown plan it would call back an additional 36,000 federal employees, bringing the total number of those working at the IRS during the government shutdown to more than 46,000, or roughly 57% of the workforce.

A shutdown complicates the lives of federal workers and the millions of Americans who rely on them. Where do federal workers live? Although the Washington area has the highest number of federal workers, government employees make up large shares of the workforce in many other areas. Got a tip?

A shutdown only affects funds annually appropriated by Congress, not funding that is sustained Other core functions like disability claims or appeals over benefits would continue to function. While previous shutdowns have led to the furlough of Social Security employees and some services, a

The shutdown — propelled by a dispute between the president and Congress over building a border wall — is splitting the nation, she said.

“It’s very frustrating,” Ms. Rasmussen said, “that wall is going straight through the country, not between us and Mexico.”

Those divides continue to shift, blur and deepen — between friends, neighbors, family members, and co-workers — as the shutdown was expected to reach into record territory on Saturday after 21 days.

[Here’s a rundown of what is and isn’t affected by the shutdown.]

Idled workers spoke of intense stress, anger and boredom.

In St. Louis, furloughed employees at the Agriculture Department’s rural development program coped in different ways. Patricia Battle, an accountant, was keeping the thermostat down in the home she shares with her husband, a veteran; her college-age son; and her 10-year-old grandson. “I’ve been wearing layers in the house,” said Ms. Battle, who earns about $70,000 a year. “Sweaters, warm clothes and two pairs of socks.”

On Thursday evening, Ms. Battle attended a meeting of her college alumni group, whose other members, unaffected by the shutdown, were surprised to learn that she was out of work.

“When they come into the knowledge that we’re not being paid, it’s like, ‘Oh my,’” she said.

At one point, two members of the group took her aside and murmured a quiet prayer, asking God to keep her covered. “I really appreciated that,” Ms. Battle said. “It made me feel like someone had a heart.”

And Rick Willenberg, 31, who earns $41,000 a year as a loan processor for the rural development program, is worrying about how to pay his own mortgage bill. “It’s so arbitrary,” he said. He had never before applied for unemployment insurance, but when he heard President Trump say the shutdown could go on for “months or even years,” he said, “I thought I better go ahead and file.”

Both he and his older brother, Steve Willenberg — who lives in a nearby suburb with his family — were drawn to work for the government out of a sense of civic duty, nurtured by a mother who is a nurse and a father who worked for General Motors. “We live pretty identical lives,” Rick said.

Except that the Department of Veterans Affairs, where Steve works processing benefits, is funded. So while his younger brother protested the furlough outside the federal office complex in wind-whipped weather, Steve was enjoying the last day of his scheduled paid vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, where he swam with dolphins and drank piña coladas by the beach.

“For the months of January and February, my department is on mandatory overtime of 20 hours a month” to correct widespread delays in benefit payments caused by computer glitches, said Steve Willenberg. “Compare that to my brother not knowing when his next paycheck is going to come.”

Correction: January 11, 2019

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified the Mexican resort where Steve Willenberg was on vacation. It is Playa del Carmen, not Carmen del Playa.

Shutdown Has Personally Affected 21 Percent of US: Poll.
And 46 percent of Americans "know someone who is personally affected."

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