As many expected, the government shutdown has officially arrived. As CNN reported, the government officially shut down at 12:01 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. With lawmakers in the Senate and the House not being able to agree on a spending bill to fund the government, the next step was taken. The question by so many is – what can or can’t you do during a government shutdown?
For over a week, both the House and the Senate battled over Obamacare with House Republicans insisting the spending bill include anti-Obamacare amendments. The Democrats in the Senate were strongly firm that it didn’t include them.
As of now, the government shutdown will keep federal employees – who are considered essential – working. Close to 800,000 non-essential federal employees are about to be furloughed. Most of them are required to be out of their offices within four hours of the start of business on Tuesday morning.
President Barack Obama issued a statement regarding military members:
“Those of you in uniform will remain on your normal duty status,” the president said. “Congress has passed, and I am signing into law, legislation to make sure you get your paychecks on time. And we’ll continue working to address any impact this shutdown has on you and your families.”
Now, the big questions arise as citizens wonder what will be affected and what won’t.
What you can do during a government shutdown:
- Get help from 911
- Get caught by a red light camera
- Get mail
- Get your Social Security benefits
- Get a passport – Some State Department passport offices will shut down though
- Sign up for healthcare exchanges
- Get your trash picked up
- Ride Amtrak trains
- Be protected by the U.S. military
- Apply for a new patent
- Learn about unemployment
- Travel by air – There could be delays
- Get food stamps
- Get your unemployment check
- Pay taxes
- Get weather warnings/watches
What you can’t do during a government shutdown:
- Visit the Capitol – Closed to visitors
- Apply for new Medicare or Social Security benefits
- Get a new small business loan
- Camp in a national park
- Visit national monuments
- Visit civil battlefields
- Continue to be audited
- Check the legal work status of an employee
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