Despite Shutdown, Essential Federal Government Functions Will Continue
Despite what is likely to be heard in the political rhetoric, the current government shutdown is only partial and most of the essential federal government’s functions will operate without interruption. Below is a list of some of the major functions that will continue throughout the government shutdown. It is taken from a piece by Hans van Spakovsky from the Heritage Foundation which you can read here in its entirety.
Many “Essential” Functions
As a recent report by the Congressional Research Service points out, an OMB memorandum from 1981 lays out examples of the many government functions of federal agencies that may continue during a funding lapse:
- National security, including the conduct of foreign relations essential to the national security or the safety of life and property;
- Benefit payments and the performance of contact obligations under no-year or multi-year appropriations or other funds remaining available for those purposes;
- Medical care of inpatients and emergency outpatient care and activities essential for the safe use of food, drugs, and hazardous materials;
- Air traffic control and other transportation safety functions;
- Border and coastal protection and surveillance;
- Protection of federal lands, buildings, waterways, and other property of the U.S.;
- Care of prisoners and others in federal custody;
- Law enforcement and criminal investigations;
- Emergency and disaster assistance;
- Activities essential to the preservation of the money and banking system of the U.S., including borrowing and tax collection;
- Production of power and maintenance of the power distribution system; and
- Protection of research property.
Clinton T. Brass, “Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects,” Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, August 6, 2013, http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL34680.pdf (accessed September 18, 2013).