Update (Jan. 25): President Trump announced a deal to re-open the government until Feb. 15 that Congress passed late Friday. This page is no longer being updated, but will resume if the shutdown starts again.

The partial government shutdown sent ripple effects across government in January, shuttering agencies and programs that were operating on leftover funds and imperiling others. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees missed paychecks, upping the stakes in the continuing stalemate.

Longest funding gaps under current shutdown rules

Note: There were federal funding gaps in the late 1970s, but gaps were taken less seriously before legal opinions saying most government work had to cease until funded by Congress.

The Trump administration has taken steps aimed at alleviating the most wide-ranging and politically problematic effects of the shutdown, calling back unpaid IRS workers to process tax refunds and shoring up food stamps on a temporary basis. But deadlines are still imminent for several programs that could cease operations soon.

Below, we’ve collected a list of the upcoming interruptions to government programs, as well as those already slowed or shuttered.

Know another effect of the shutdown if it drags on? Let us know.

Jan. 25: Employees miss another paycheck

Some of the more than 800,000 federal employees affected by the shutdown would miss a second paycheck — now short a month’s worth of income — though the exact date varies depending on pay cycle and processing time. Read more

Jan. 28: Tax season begins

The IRS begins processing tax returns. The White House directed the IRS, which has previously said it would not handle refunds during a shutdown, to do just that. The decision could prevent an outcry from taxpayers over refunds. Read more

Jan. 30: GDP figure likely goes unreported

The Commerce Department’s GDP report, which measures the strength of the U.S. economy, was supposed to be released on Jan. 30. Other key economic indicators have been delayed as well because the Bureau of Economic Analysis is closed during the shutdown. That is forcing the Fed — as well as investors — to fly partially blind. Read more

Jan. 31: Federal courts resources depleted, more housing contracts expire

The nation’s courts have used fees and “aggressive efforts to reduce expenditures” such as delayed hiring and travel cutbacks to extend operations during the shutdown. While the deadline has been extended in the past, the latest announcement warned that “no further extensions beyond Feb. 1 will be possible.” Civil cases would likely be suspended if the shutdown continues after funding is depleted. Read more

At least 650 affordable-housing contracts from the Department of Housing and Urban Development expired in December, with another 500 expiring by the end of the month. Read more

Feb. 1: Rural rent subsidies run out

Rent subsidies from the Agriculture Department run out for nearly 270,000 rural low-income families. Read more

Feb. 3: State Department must find more payroll funds

About 8,000 furloughed diplomats were told to return to work on Jan. 20 after the State Department found funds to cover one pay period. Officials cautioned they will have to see if they can identify funds from other accounts that can be tapped should the shutdown extend beyond that. That would require the consent of Congress, however. Read more

Feb. 8: Employees miss a third paycheck

Some of the more than 800,000 federal employees affected by the shutdown would miss a third paycheck, though the exact date varies depending on pay cycle and processing time. Read more

Feb. 22: Employees miss a fourth paycheck

Some of the more than 800,000 federal employees affected by the shutdown would miss a fourth paycheck — now short two months’ worth of income — though the exact date varies depending on pay cycle and processing time. Read more

March: Food stamps possibly run out, country’s credit rating could be reconsidered, housing vouchers program runs out

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the modern version of food stamps, initially faced a lack of funds to cover its February payments. But after the upcoming shortfall was reported by The Washington Post, Agriculture Department officials announced they had found a way to procure funding for the program through the end of February. They cautioned, however, that they still lacked a way to fund the program in March if the shutdown is still in effect. Read more

The shutdown could put the country’s AAA credit rating at risk if it extends to March and pushes a debt ceiling fight back, Fitch Ratings warned. Read more

HUD’s Section 8 rent vouchers for 2.2 million households run out, and funds for state and local public-housing agencies to manage more than 1 million public housing units also run out.

February: More housing contracts expire, Jet Propulsion Laboratory may see cutbacks

Another 550 affordable-housing contracts from the Department of Housing and Urban Development expire in February.

The Jet Propulsion Lab at the California Institute of Technology works closely with NASA on space exploration. The JPL has used existing funds to remain open during the shutdown, but warned it “may have to adjust staffing levels if the shutdown continues into February.” Read more

Mid to late February: Activities for 2020 Census stop

The Census Bureau has already ended some work but has continued preparation for the 2020 Census by using previously authorized funding. The bureau said that funding is expected to run out in late January or early February, and outside experts warn it might run out earlier than that. Read more

Some of what’s already affected

The government functions listed below have already ceased or slowed because of the shutdown. These departments are affected: Homeland Security, Justice, State, Agriculture, Treasury, Interior, Transportation, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Some employees miss paychecks Read more

  • Coast Guard members miss paychecks Read more

  • Federal office buildings for affected agencies

  • National parks closed or unstaffed Read more

  • Federal museums and zoo closed Read more

  • Government contracts have stopped Read more

  • Advanced federal law enforcement training

  • Do-not-call registry

  • Uncertainy in Earth's magnetic field Read more

  • E-Verify offline

  • Many federal research operations stalled

  • New beer approvals Read more

  • Immigration courts significantly reduced Read more

  • Reduced food inspections Read more

  • Vehicle safety testing and enforcement

  • Vehicle defect investigations

  • Vehicle crash avoidance research

  • Air-traffic controller training

  • Consumer complaint hotlines

  • Small business loans approvals stopped Read more

  • Some services on Native American reservations closed

  • Most data on crime, sentencing and prisons

  • Agricultural statistics for farmers off-line

Throughout January: Science grants go unrewarded

January is a critical month for science grants that are going unrewarded during the shutdown. Benjamin Corb, director of public affairs for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, calculated how much funding National Science Foundation provided through Jan. 8 last year: $42 million in 2018 vs. $0 in 2019. Read more

Tracy Jan, Dan Lamothe, Lori Aratani, Tara Bahrampour, Tory Newmyer, Carol Morello and Eric Yoder contributed to this report.


Icons by Tim Boelaars for The Washington Post. Originally published Jan. 10, 2019.

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