(Reuters) – Shuttered U.S. government agencies remained closed on Monday as Democrats in the House of Representatives readied legislation intended to reopen the government that would not meet President Donald Trump’s demand for $5 billion to fund a border wall.
FILE PHOTO: A sign declares the National Archive is closed due to a partial federal government shutdown in Washington, U.S., December 22, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo
Funding for about a quarter of the federal government came to an end on Dec. 22, with Trump and Democrats far apart on a solution.
On Thursday, after they take the majority in the House of Representatives, Democrats intend to vote on a two-part package to end the shutdown. Its prospects in the Senate and with Trump were uncertain.
The shutdown has not affected most of the government, including the Department of Defense and the Postal Service, which have secure funding. Still, some 800,000 employees from the Departments of Homeland Security, Transportation and others have been furloughed or are working without pay.
Here is what is happening at key federal agencies.
The department that oversees Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration, the Coast Guard and the Secret Service is affected. But most employees are deemed “essential,” so they are working without pay until a funding bill is passed.
Of 245,000 department employees, nearly 213,000 have been deemed essential, according to the department’s contingency plan.
HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Most of this department’s 7,500 employees are deemed “non-essential,” with only about 340 working. Nearly 1,000 others may be called in for specific tasks, for which they will not be paid until a funding bill is passed.
Public housing authorities and tribally designated housing entities are not part of the federal government and so are not required to shut down. But the federal government provides some of their funding, so they may need to reduce or change operating hours.
The department, which oversees some housing loan and low-income housing payment programs, warned in its contingency plan that “a protracted shutdown could see a decline in home sales, reversing the trend toward a strengthening market that we’ve been experiencing.”
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis and Census Bureau are not publishing economic data, including key figures on gross domestic product, inflation, personal income, spending, trade and new home sales, during the shutdown.
OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT
The agency that oversees the federal workforce has offered advice to workers on how to deal with landlords, mortgage lenders and other creditors. It includes sample letters with language explaining severe reductions in income due to the lack of federal funding for departments and agencies.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
The FCC, which regulates interstate communications, including radio and television broadcast and cable systems, said it will suspend most operations at midday on Thursday, if the shutdown has not ended by then. Work for “the protection of life and property” will continue. So will operations at the agency’s Office of Inspector General.
Members of the U.S. Coast Guard were due to receive their final paychecks of the year on Monday. That paycheck will be their last until the government reopens.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency was to resume issuing new flood insurance policies during the shutdown, reversing an earlier decision. The National Association of Realtors estimated an earlier decision to stop issuing new policies could have disrupted up to 40,000 home sales each month.
The National Park Service, under the umbrella of the Interior Department, is operating with a skeleton staff. Under its contingency plan, some parks may be accessible, with others closed completely. The National Park Service is providing no visitor services such as restrooms, facility and road maintenance and trash collection.
Of the department’s 55,000 employees, 20,400 have been put on leave. Those do not include most of the Federal Aviation Administration, where 24,200 are working, or the Federal Highway Administration, where all 2,700 employees are funded through other sources.
Air traffic control, hazardous material safety inspections and accident investigations continue, but some rulemaking, inspections and audits have been paused.
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
An estimated 1,100 of the office’s 1,800 employees are on leave. This includes most of the Office of Management and Budget, which helps implement budget and policy goals.
Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh, James Dalgleish, David Gregorio and Dan Grebler