Effects of Government Shutdown

Jan 19, 2018
Press Release


A list of government agencies and how you might be affected during a shutdown.

How Will a Shutdown Affect You?

A government shutdown for many federal agencies may begin this weekend. You may wonder what this means for you. Please see below for information released by specific agencies that may affect you.

Some government agencies will remain open and functional to protect life and property. These include the armed forces, border patrol agents, air traffic controllers, and federal workers who provide medical care on the job. The Postal Service, which is self-funded, will also continue to operate.

Regardless of what happens in Washington, I am working hard to make sure that everyone in our area gets the service they need. My Nashville and Washington offices will remain open to continue assisting you. If you have any questions, please contact my office.


Q: What happens when the federal government shuts down?

A: Here are a few examples.


Q: Will mail continue to be delivered?

A: Yes. The Postal Service is not affected by a government shutdown.

Social Security

Q: I'm enrolled in Social Security. Will I get my check?

A: Yes. Social Security and Supplemental Security Income checks will be sent out largely uninterrupted. However, during a government shutdown, the Social Security Administration will not be able to issue new or replacement Social Security cards, replace your Medicare card, or issue a proof of income letter.


Q: Does Medicare still work?

A: Benefits for Medicare are exempt from the shutdown, so current participants shouldn't notice an interruption. Benefit verification and new card issuance would stop.


Q: Will VA hospitals be open?

A: Yes.

Passports and Visas

Q: I need help with my passport or visa. Will I be able to get help?

A: Yes. Consular offices domestically and abroad will remain open so there should be no disruption in services. If a passport agency is located in a government building that has been affected by the shutdown, passport services will not be available.


Q: Will I need to cancel my air travel plans?

A: No, air travel should not be impacted by the shutdown. Air traffic controllers and TSA employees are considered “essential employees,” so they will report to work as scheduled.


Q: Will Congress get paid?

A: Yes, the Constitution requires it. But Jim has introduced two bills that would stop Members of Congress from being paid if Congress doesn't pass a budget or America defaults on its bills. Jim has also cosponsored a bill stopping congressional pay if the government shuts down.

Q: Does Congress shut down?

A: No, Congress is in session.


How are government agencies affected during a shutdown?

To view a link to all government agency contingency plans, click here.

To view the Washington Post’s breakdown by agency, click here.

For more shutdown information, click here and here.