Shutdown affects local federal agencies

Published 8:34 am Saturday, December 22, 2018

At 11:59 p.m., Friday, Dec. 21, funding lapsed for nine federal departments and some number of independent agencies.

A partial federal government shutdown commenced.

The affected departments are Treasury, Agriculture, Homeland Security, Interior, State, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Commerce and Justice.

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In a memorandum to executive departments and agencies, Mick Mulvaney, director of Office of Management and Budget wrote: “Although we are hopeful that this lapse in appropriations will be of short duration, employees should report to work for their next regularly scheduled tour of duty to undertake orderly shutdown activities.”

For many federal employees, the “next scheduled tour of duty” is Wednesday, Dec. 26. In an executive order dated Dec. 18, President Donald Trump closed all executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government and excused employees from duty on Monday, Dec. 24, the day before Christmas Day. Christmas Day is already a federal holiday.

The three National Parks in Dare County are affected by the shutdown, though the precise instructions for this shutdown may not yet be available.

During the last federal shutdown, beach access ramps in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore remained open. An ORV permit was still required; however, permit offices were closed.

All visitor centers were closed.

At Wright Brothers National Memorial, the gates were closed. However, folks could still park elsewhere and walk the grounds.

At Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, the grounds remained open but not the visitor center.

Restrooms maintained by the National Park Service were locked.

And last time, employees were prohibited from answering government-issued telephones or responding to emails.

Law enforcement rangers remained on duty.

These working park service law enforcement rangers are counted among the 420,000 federal employees working without pay.

Another 380,000 federal workers or more could be placed on temporary leave without receiving pay. For the Forest and National Park Services, more than 44,000 employees could be furloughed.

After previous shutdowns, Congress has awarded back pay.

Full-year appropriations acts have been enacted for Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services and Education.

The U.S. Senate and House are scheduled to reconvene at noon on Saturday, Dec. 22.