The government has officially gone into a partial shutdown mode as of midnight on Saturday, December 22. Regardless, your VA benefits should not be affected, according to Robert Wilkie, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Via ABC7, Wilkie said in a statement, “Thanks to the leadership of President Trump and Congress, VA is fully funded for fiscal year 2019, and in the event of a partial government shutdown, all VA operations will continue unimpeded.”
Wilkie continued, “We thank the president and Congress for their commitment to our nation’s heroes in funding VA, and stand ready to provide all of the VA benefits and services our Veterans have earned.”
So no, your VA benefits will not be impacted by the partial government shutdown. Here’s what you need to know about what will be affected by the 2018 government shutdown:
Here’s Who Will Be Affected by the Partial Government Shutdown
Here are the federal departments that are now shut down, until a new spending budget is passed in the House and Senate:
- Department of the Treasury
- Department of Agriculture
- Homeland Security Department
- Department of the Interior
- Department of State
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Department of Transportation
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Justice
According to CNBC, around 420,000 federal workers at agencies including the FBI, TSA, DEA, and Department of Homeland Security will continue to work without a regular paycheck, and might be without a paycheck for weeks, depending on how long the shutdown could take.
What’s more, CNBC notes that an additional approximate 380,000 federal workers would be placed on temporary leave without receiving pay, including many workers for NASA and the Department of Commerce. Included in that list of employees would be those who work for the Forest and National Park services, those who work for the IRS, and those who work for Housing and Urban Development.
However, you don’t have to worry about your holiday packages arriving on time due to the government shutdown. According to Vox, the Post Office will continue to run as usual, because it’s sourced by an independent source of revenue, and therefore isn’t impacted by the annual appropriations process.
A Government Shutdown Could Last for a ‘Very Long Time,’ Trump Warned on Friday
In a tweet early Friday morning on December 21, Trump warned that the government shutdown could last a “very long time” if Democratic senators don’t approve the funding for his border wall.
It’s true: the government shutdown will technically last until Congress can agree upon a spending bill for the coming year, according to the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. What’s more, with many senators and House representatives already gone for the holidays, it could take several days or even weeks before a spending bill is agreed upon and there are enough people in the Capitol to approve the bill.
Trump told reporters on Friday afternoon again that he thinks the government shutdown could last a while. Per CNN, he said, “It’s really the Democrat shutdown, because we’ve done our thing. Now it’s up to the Democrats as to whether we have a shutdown tonight. I hope we don’t, but we’re totally prepared for a very long shutdown.”