Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Impact, Agency By Agency

Washington Post
October 1, 2013
Pg. 12

Government Shutdown


The government shutdown will interrupt some services and jeopardize the paychecks of more than 800,000 federal workers. The Office of Management and Budget asked federal agencies to make contingency plans; the government does not stop functioning completely, and by law, certain agencies must operate with unsalaried employees. They include those that deal with national security and the safety of people and property, as well as those that manage benefits such as Social Security payments. The U.S. Postal Service will also be unaffected by a shutdown. Here’s what some agencies have said about their plans.
Department of Agriculture
Overall impact -- Inspections of meat and poultry will continue, and workers including firefighters will remain on the job. The agency will halt its production of statistical reports on crop estimates and sales widely used in the agricultural market.
Workers -- The USDA hasn’t said precisely how many of its 100,000 workers will be furloughed.
Department of Commerce
Overall impact -- The department includes agencies such as the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, as well as various economic development offices — all of which will be closed.
Workers -- Of the Commerce Department’s 46,420 employees, 40,234 will be furloughed.
Federal courts
Overall impact -- According to Judge John D. Bates, director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, federal courts can continue to operate for approximately two weeks with reserve funds.
Workers -- After the reserve funds are depleted, only essential employees will continue to work. Each court has flexibility in determining which employees are essential -- other than judges, who will work.
Department of Defense
Overall impact -- The Defense Department will continue to conduct military operations and training exercises.
Workers -- The roughly 1.4 million active-duty uniformed military personnel will stay on the job. Of the department’s 800,000 civilian workers, about half will be furloughed.
Department of Education
Overall impact -- The department will still distribute $22 billion to public schools that is normally obligated on Oct. 1. This represents the second half of 2013 funding already appropriated by Congress to help educate poor and disabled K-12 students and to fund career and technical education programs. This funding does not require further congressional authorization.
Workers -- If the shutdown lasts a week, approximately 212 of the department’s 4,225 full- and part-time employees will be working. An additional 30 employees may be called to work if the shutdown lasts longer than a week.
Department of Energy
Overall impact -- Most of the Department of Energy's activities will cease during the shutdown, with big exceptions for the office overseeing the safety of the nation's nuclear arsenal and the administrators in charge of dams and transmission lines around the country.
Workers -- The Department of Energy has 13,814 employees. During a shutdown, all but 1,113 will be sent home, according to a contingency plan the agency recently posted on its Web site.
Environmental Protection Agency
Overall impact -- On Monday, Gina McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, said her department will all but close during the shutdown.
Workers -- McCarthy offered no specifics but said that the “vast majority of people” will not be paid if there is no budget.
The Federal Reserve
Overall impact -- The Fed is self-funded and will remain open and operational.
Workers -- No impact.
Health and Human Services
Overall impact -- The department has said it anticipates furloughing 40,512 workers while retaining 37,686.
Workers -- The agency will be sending home more than half its workers, but the lack of funding will not affect various offices equally.
Department of Homeland Security
Overall impact -- The vast majority of Department of Homeland Security employees will continue to work under a shutdown because their functions “must be maintained under all circumstances to ensure the safety and security of the nation and its citizens,” or because their jobs are not funded by congressional appropriations.
Workers -- About 86 percent of the department’s roughly 231,000 employees are “essential,” meaning they will remain on the job for the “safety of human life or protection of property.” Some of those workers will also be part of an “emergency relocation group” that responds to possible emergency situations.
Federal Transit Administration
Overall impact -- According toFTA Administrator Peter Rogoff, no grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, purchase orders, travel authorizations or other documents obligating funds will be made to any of the agency's 1,300 grantees.
Workers -- About 95 percent of the FTA’s workers will be furloughed. Remaining staffs will be limited to four people who will handle shutdown and startup activities as well as emergency needs.
Food and Drug Administration
Overall impact -- The FDA will continue “limited activities” in programs that are funded through industry user fees and will continue “select vital activities” such as handling high-risk recalls of tainted food or drugs. Officials said the FDA will be unable to keep up the majority of its food-safety, nutrition and cosmetics oversight.
Workers -- The agency will be forced to furlough 6,620 workers, or about 45 percent of its 14,779-person workforce.
Housing and Urban Development
Overall impact -- The agency's contingency plan says that just 379 of 8,709 employees will be expected to work during a shutdown.
Workers -- The vast majority of HUD's agencies will be staffed by skeleton crews, with the exception of Ginne Mae, the mortgage-guarantee agency, will maintain 43 of 108 employees.
Department of the Interior
Overall impact --Interiorwill operate with a significantly smaller workforce, and national parks will be closed to the public. Agencies under its authority include the National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Land Management, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
Workers -- Interior has 72,562 employees. More than 58,000 will face furloughs, and those remaining on the job as exempted workers (6,306) have mostly law enforcement and security-related duties.
Department of Justice
Overall impact -- BecauseJustice has a broad array of national security, law enforcement and criminal justice responsibilities, a high percentage of activities and employees are excepted.
Workers -- Of 114,486 employees, an estimated 96,744 will be excepted from furloughs under the Justice Department's plan. Approximately 17,742 employees will be subject to possible furloughs.
Department of Labor
Overall impact -- During the shutdown, a majority of the Department of Labor's employees will be furloughed.
Workers -- Of the 16,304 employees at the agency, only 2,954 will be expected to work.
Overall impact --NASA employees will be furloughed unless instructed that their jobs are exempted. Among the agency functions that will continue are those involving the safe operation of satellites and the international space station, and “other activities involving protection of life and property,” according to the agency Web site.
Workers -- An internal memo states that NASA will “narrowly construe the available exceptions in determining which activities can continue.” The agency has 18,250 employees across the country, and the shutdown contingency plan indicates that 549 will be exempted from furloughs.
National Institutes of Health
Overall impact -- The NIH will not take any actions on grant applications or awards, but will continue to allow grantees with existing grants to draw on their funds and will accept new online grant applications (which will be stored and processed later). The NIH Clinical Center will continue to provide direct medical services and maintain research protocols for current patients but will not admit new patients or initiate new clinical trials.
Workers -- Under theplan, 2,564 NIH staff members will be excepted for the provision of patient care, 734 to protect property related to ongoing medical experiments, 568 for maintenance of animals and protection of inanimate government property, and 212 to maintain computerized systems to support research and clinical patient care.
United States Postal Service
Overall impact -- The U.S. Postal Service, which is a self-funded agency, will remain open, and mail delivery will continue as usual.
Workers -- No impact.
Small Business Administration
Overall impact -- The agency will shut down nearly all its operations, including processing for most of its lending programs, which guarantee tens of billions of dollars in lending to small and new businesses every year.
Workers -- The SBA will have to furlough more than 2,100 employees, nearly two-thirds of its workforce, according to the agency’s contingency plan. Nearly all of the exempt employees work in the agency's Office of Disaster Assistance.
Securities and Exchange Commission
Overall impact -- The SEC will not be immediately affected. It plans to use funds carried over from the previous year.
Workers -- No immediate impact.
Overall impact -- Essentially, all Smithsonian institutions, museums and zoos will be closed.
Workers -- Those exempted include security and maintenance workers and zoo employeesresponsible for the care of the animals.
Department of State
Overall impact -- The State Department, which receives funding in the annual State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act, will be able to operate for a limited time.
Workers -- Activities carried out by the Bureau of Consular Affairs, both domestically and abroad, are fee-funded and will continue. The department will continue passport operations and visa issuance overseas.
Supreme Court
Overall impact --The court has made no official announcement, but it continued to operate during previous shutdowns.
Workers -- Not available.
Department of Transportation
Overall impact -- Air travel should continue as normal because federal air-traffic controllers will remain on the job.
Workers -- According to the department's contingency plan, 18,481 of its 55,468 employees will be furloughed.
Department of the Treasury
Overall impact -- The Treasury Department will continue disbursements of Social Security funds, automated revenue collections and the work of daily cash management for the government, in addition to paying interest on the federal debt. But the department’s largest component, the Internal Revenue Service, will cease some of its key functions such as audits, examinations of returns, processing of paper returns and call-center operations.
Workers -- About 88 percent of the 110,000 employees will be placed on furlough, including nearly 90 percent of IRS workers. About 8,800 of the IRS’s 95,000 employees will stay on in roles such as law enforcementor because their positions are paid for by funds outside of appropriations. Most headquarters and administrative employees will be furloughed.
Department of Veterans Affairs
Overall impact -- Medical services will not be affected, but benefits programs probably will. Regional offices handling disability claims will have limited services, and the Veterans Benefits Administration will be unable to process education and rehabilitation benefits. The Board of Veterans' Appeals will be unable to hold hearings.
Workers -- VA projects that 95 percent of its 332,000 employees are exempt from furloughs, including the 289,000 who work for the Veterans Health Administration.
The White House
Overall impact -- About three-quarters of White House employees will be furloughed.
Workers -- Some 436 employees will be designated as exempt, and the remaining 1,265 will be furloughed.

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