US Partial Shutdown: What’s Open, What’s Closed
A partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government began Dec. 22, after President Donald Trump and Congress failed to agree on funding for the president’s long-sought wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. About 800,000 federal employees and some government services across the United States have been affected.
What is closed? What is open?
National Parks, Historic Sites and Monuments
The National Parks Service (NPS) website says 388 of the 737 parks, historic sites and national monuments it oversees are closed. The ones that remain open have limited staffing and have closed access to various park facilities, including restrooms.
At Yellowstone National Park, located mostly in Wyoming, private tour companies have performed some maintenance, enabling them to continue operating throughout the winter.
Some states are paying to keep their national parks open, including Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, and Zion, Bryce Canyon and Arches national parks in Utah.
Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California narrowly avoided a temporary closure Thursday. The NPS used revenue from recreation fees to hire maintenance crews for cleanup, and to reopen campgrounds and hiking trails.
The historic clock tower at the Old Post Office building in Washington is one of the few government-owned tourist attractions that remains open during the shutdown. The building is owned by the U.S. government but is leased to Trump International Hotel. Three park rangers guide visitors to the observation deck at the top of the tower.
Museums and Cultural Centers
All 19 of the Smithsonian Institution museums and galleries, as well as the National Zoo, have been closed since Jan. 3. Also closed are the National Archives, Arboretum and White House Visitor Center.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will have no tours and have reduced hours, but performances will be unaffected.
The federal courts have enough funding to remain open until Jan. 18. After that date, civil cases may be suspended or postponed, but criminal cases will proceed.
Immigration courts are closed. Cases have been postponed indefinitely.
The Food and Drug Administration has stopped all routine inspections, except for domestic meat and poultry. It has also suspended most research activities and stopped accepting applications for new drug approvals.
The Environmental Protection Agency has furloughed 95 percent of its employees.
The Internal Revenue Service has furloughed most of its employees. The Trump administration, however, announced this week that the IRS would issue tax refunds during the shutdown.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has asked all of its contractors to immediately stop all work.
The National Science Foundation has stopped reviewing all grant proposals and postdoctoral fellowship applications.
The Federal Communications Commission has suspended most operations, including the Consumer Complaint Center.
The Department of Agriculture will not release domestic and world crop reports. It will continue providing food stamps through January.
The National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs would also be disrupted if the government remains closed through January.
The White House
The White House public comments line at (202) 456-1111 plays a recorded message, explaining, “We look forward to taking your call as soon as the government reopens.”
The Federal Aviation Administration suspended all aircraft safety certification, and safety reporting and oversight systems.
All training of air traffic controllers and pilots has been suspended.
Highway construction projects across the country have dramatically slowed, as states worry about the loss of federal funding for highway projects.
Federal agencies and services that remain open
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs continues to provide benefits and hospital services.
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid remain operational, though new Medicare and Medicaid applicants may experience delays.
The U.S. Postal Service continues mail delivery.
U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, which deals with naturalization and citizenship, remains operational.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents are considered “essential” and are expected to work without pay. Some TSA workers have begun calling in sick, causing potential logjams at airports.
Active duty members of the military are exempt from shutdowns.