Shutdown: What comes next

Editor's Note: President Trump signed a bill on January 25 to end the shutdown and fully fund the government for three weeks.

The effects of the ongoing partial lapse in government funding continue to mount, but placing them on a calendar remains difficult. Some agencies, including the federal courts, have dug deep to locate funds to keep day-to-day operations running and their workers paid. Others have almost completely shut down. Here are some key dates to remember:

December 22

Shutdown started

January 11

💵 Federal pay date

January 15

💵 Coast Guard pay date

Thousands of workers recalled

Thousands of Internal Revenue Service, Food and Drug Administration and Federal Aviation Administration employees were recalled from furlough to work without pay to process tax returns and conduct food and airline safety.

January 20

Final food stamps payment for now

Food stamps will be paid through February, but in order to get funds, states will have to pay February payments early, by or before January 20, which could create confusion for recipients who receive an abnormally large payment that is intended to last an extra month.

  • By the numbers
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit recipients in 2018: 40.3 million
  • Total benefits paid through SNAP in 2018: 60.6 billion
  • Monthly benefits paid (as of September 2018): About $4.8 billion
  • Average monthly benefit per person: $125.25

January 25

💵 Federal pay date

January 28

Tax returns will go out

The IRS has pledged to recall furloughed workers and to begin accepting tax filings on schedule on January 28. Their goal is to honor Tax Day on April 15 and to pay tax refunds on time. If the shutdown continues and those many thousands of IRS workers are recalled from furlough, they’ll be entering their second month without a paycheck.

  • By the numbers
  • Tax filings collected in 2018 spring filing season (excluding extensions): 136,359,149

January 30

GDP report could be incomplete or delayed

It's unlikely the Bureau of Economic Analysis will be able to publish the gross domestic product (GDP) report due on January 30 if the shutdown continues. It would cover the fourth quarter of 2018. The agency, which is housed under the Commerce Department, hasn't issued any new reports since the shutdown began, including one on the US trade deficit. A number of financial reports have been affected, including, as two examples, a January 11 Department of Agriculture report on markets, a trade report on the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement that could delay its consideration by Congress.

Federal housing assistance contracts are expiring

The federal government helps fund low income housing through project-based rental assistance contracts.There are many of thousands of these nationwide and the contracts with landlords are expiring on a rolling basis. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has asked landlords to dip into reserve funds for the time being. An advocacy network has mapped where the contracts are expiring.

  • By the numbers
  • People living in Section 8 contract-subsidized housing (2017): 1.2 million households
  • Average household income: $12,505
  • Average monthly HUD expenditure: $769

January 31

Federal courts run out of money

US federal courts will run out of operating money on January 31, according to a statement from their administrative office. Court offices had been able to stay operational by halting some services, suspending hirings and more. They have extended the date at which they’ll run out of money after previously setting January 11 and January 18.

As of January 22, the courts say that after January 31, they will have to furlough some employees and declare others essential under the Anti-Deficiency Act, which is a federal law that prohibits the government from spending money that isn’t appropriated by Congress. Criminal cases are expected to continue despite a lapse in funds, but many federal courts have already begun delaying civil cases involving the federal government. It’s not clear if possible furloughs would affect any other court operations or deadlines.

  • By the numbers
  • Number of federal courts: 94 district courts, 13 circuit courts
  • Civil cases filed in federal courts in 2018 (not counting appeals): 282,936
  • Bankruptcy cases filed in federal courts in 2018: 773,375

February 1

💵 Coast Guard pay date

February 8

💵 Federal pay date

February 14

Financial statements for companies waiting on the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering (IPO) are no longer valid. This could affect Uber and Lyft.

Late February

FDA drug review operations

The Food and Drug Administration has roughly five weeks of funding left to review new drug applications during the shutdown, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said on Twitter.

Experts say this could have a ripple effect, bogging down the approval and manufacture of new drugs, delaying patients from getting new treatments and adding to a host of other crucial FDA actions and oversight that have taken a hit during the shutdown.

Beginning of March

Women, infants and children (WIC) nutrition program

The program giving supplemental assistance to low income mothers and children in need is funded through February. Assistance is provided to more than 7 million participants each month, most of them children and infants.

  • By the numbers
  • Monthly expenditures (as of September 2018): $462 million
  • Average monthly benefit: $41

Beginning of April

School lunches

In addition to paying food stamps early, Agriculture Department funds to states to fund school lunch programs through March.