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5 Services That Won’t Close in a Federal Government Shutdown

December 21, 2018, 4:29 PM UTC

A bitter standoff between President Donald Trump and Capitol Hill Democrats that could lead to at least a partial U.S. government shutdown is getting worse. Nine government departments and dozens of agencies risk finding themselves without funding as of 11:59 p.m., Friday, if a budget agreement isn’t reached to keep the government running.

You may be wondering how your holiday plans could be affected by all this political wrangling. A good way to approach concerns is to look at what government services would remain open.

Travel services

Regardless of how long the shutdown may last, air traffic control operations will not be affected, ensuring the nation’s airlines continue to operate. TSA agents will remain on duty. Additionally, government-owned Amtrak will continue.

Border security

Much of the current budget battle is centered on border security, but if there’s a shutdown, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents will continue to work.

Social services

Social Security checks would continue to be delivered. Medicare services would stay in operation for at least a limited time.

Postal service

Since the U.S. Postal Service is an independent agency it would not be affected.

National parks

This is a bit less clear, but in January during the last government shutdown most national parks remained open but with scaled-back services, including closed visitor centers and sometimes bathrooms.