The local ripple effect from the partial federal government shutdown is following a similar path as the last major shutdown, which lasted 16 days, in October 2013.
“The partial shutdown would impact some federal employees who work at departments and agencies that were not fully funded by Congress,” said Daniel Keylin, spokesman for U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.
Gov. Roy Cooper has expressed concerns about the shutdown’s impact on federal child nutrition programs administered by the U.S. Agriculture Department. CNN reported that 95 percent of the department’s staff was on furlough as of Wednesday.
That directly affects the USDA’s office of Food and Nutrition Services, which oversees the Child Nutrition, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
Eligible households would receive monthly SNAP benefits for January. Child nutrition programs, including those for public school breakfast and lunch, have enough funding to continue through February.
However, for potential homeowners applying for a USDA home loan — typically those wanting or needing 100 percent financing — there’s likely to be no movement until the shutdown ends. The department is required to directly underwrite mortgages before a loan can be closed through its rural housing programs.
Purchasing a home is again proving to be a bumpy but navigable ride for most potential buyers, though demand may be diminished because of recent increases in interest and mortgage rates.
The U.S. Small Business Administration can continue to back existing loans in its portfolio, but it cannot initiate new loan guarantees.
The State Department said domestic and global consular operations, including visa and passport services, "will remain open as long as there are sufficient fees to support operations."
"If a domestic passport agency is located in a U.S. government building affected by a lapse in appropriations, the facility may become unsupported and therefore unavailable to the public."
Internal Revenue Service officials will not be able to discuss tax issues with taxpayers since about 52,000 staffers are on furlough. The longer the shutdown lasts, the more likely it is for processing of tax returns to be delayed after the late January scheduled start.
Portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway have visitor facilities closed or being operated by concessionaires.
The U.S. Housing and Urban Development is maintaining certain functions, such as fulfilling payment and contract obligations associated with project-based rental assistance programs. HUD regional office directors are operating on an “as-needed” basis.
“HAWS is currently unaffected, but we will, of course, be monitoring the shutdown closely to see how the situation progresses and taking appropriate action as needed,” said Gwen Burston, public relations director for the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem.
Loans made through the FHA, VA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can move forward despite the shutdown.
However, the loans may not be completed because the IRS cannot provide key tax return transcripts and income verification information. Although the FHA and VA do not require the transcripts, relying on W-2 and 1099 forms and pay stubs, more lenders are requiring the forms as part of tighter application standards.
On the health care side, the Food and Drug Administration also is operating on as-needed basis, particularly “activities necessary to address imminent threats to the safety of human life and activities funded by carryover user fee funds.”
However, about 41 percent of FDA staff was furloughed as of Wednesday, as was 65 percent of staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to CNN.
For most parks, there will be no National Park Service-provided visitor services, such as restrooms, trash collection, facilities or road maintenance. Details of the operating status of parkway facilities are available on the Road and Facilities page of the park website, www.doi.gov/shutdown.
Local veterans administration operations, including at the hospitals in Kernersville and Salisbury, are unaffected by the shutdown because it already has been fully funded for fiscal 2018-19.
Several federal lawsuits and court cases have either been stayed or suspended because of the shutdown.
For example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has received a stay in its lawsuit against the Advance operations of Ashley Distribution Services Ltd.
The EEOC sued in April on behalf of Farrell Welch, who claims he was turned down for a truck-driver position at its Advance plant “because the company regarded him as disabled.”
The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief. The agency said it filed the lawsuit after failing to reach a settlement with the company.
Ashley has filed a motion for dismissal of the lawsuit.