United States Government Shutdown Ends — For Now: January 2019 Edition

The majority of members of the United States Senate voted on Friday, January 25, 2019 to end the partial shutdown of the federal government of the United States, which began 35 days ago and became the longest duration of the 21 times the federal government of the United States was shut down since Thursday, September 30, 1976…

United States Government Shutdown Ends — For Now: January 2019 Edition

…but the vote approves funds for the government for only three weeks — more specifically, until Friday, February 15, 2019.

This means that travel services and destinations owned and operated by the federal government of the United States — such as air traffic control, the manning of security checkpoints at airports, and the operation of national parks and monuments — should be fully staffed and uninterrupted once again, with business back to normal until next month.

This, of course, does not include weather, mechanical issues and other factors which could potentially interrupt your travels to, from and within the United States.

Some of the Effects of the Government Shutdown

What was supposed to have been a partial shutdown of the federal government which would have had little impact on travelers was growing from a mere nuisance to what was shaping up to become significant problems — and these examples are only some of which are related to travel.

Earlier today, Friday, January 25, 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States temporarily placed a stop on inbound flights arriving at Fiorello LaGuardia Airport in New York because of a shortage of air traffic control staff — more specifically, a lack of workers at two air traffic control facilities in Virginia and Florida — which caused a domino effect to other airports along the eastern United States and resulted in delays of flights of up to 90 minutes. The union which represents flight attendants said that they had been warning that the government shutdown would start harming the air travel system of the United States.

As many as ten percent of all agents of the Transportation Security Administration had taken “unscheduled absences” as they were among the approximately 800,000 federal employees of the United States who had been working without pay since the government shutdown began — which resulted in longer lines at security checkpoints at airports across the nation.

The debut of the new Airbus A220 airplanes of Delta Air Lines was scheduled for Thursday, January 31, 2019 — but the shutdown of the federal government prevented the airline from getting the approvals it needed from the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States to begin flying the airplanes at the end of the month as planned; so the official debut has been postponed. Flights which were already scheduled to have used the new fleet of aircraft will be replaced by different airplanes until Delta Air Lines has the aforementioned approvals.

Stop STUPIDITY Act Introduced

Mark Warner — who represents the state of Virginia as a senator of the United States and is a Democrat — introduced legislation on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 to put an end to future shutdowns of the federal government of the United States and “protect federal government workers from being used as pawns in policy negotiations. This bill would keep the government running in the case of a lapse in funding by automatically renewing government funding at the same levels as the previous fiscal year, with adjustments for inflation.” The Stop STUPIDITY Act — the word stupidity is apparently an acronym for Shutdowns Transferring Unnecessary Pain and Inflicting Damage In The Coming Years — would fund all aspects of the government except for the legislative branch and the Executive Office of the President; and effectively “force Congress and the White House to come to the negotiating table” without putting the economy at risk or harming the American public.

“The Stop STUPIDITY Act takes the aggressive but necessary step of forcing the President and Congress to do the jobs they were elected to do,” Warner said. “It is disturbing that the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of workers are at the mercy of dysfunction in Washington. Workers, business owners and tax payers are currently paying the price of D.C. gridlock and my legislation will put an end to that.”

Summary

Some services and destinations were closed during the shutdown — such as national parks, which had already closed their gates and visitor centers over the past couple of days due to a lack of funding as a result of the shutdown.

I am not going to get into the politics of what caused this shutdown of the federal government of the United States to occur in the first place, as it all seems so ridiculously childish — but let us hope that lawmakers conjure a sensible resolution prior to Friday, February 15, 2019 to avoid yet another shutdown.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

5 thoughts on “United States Government Shutdown Ends — For Now: January 2019 Edition”

  1. Carl P says:

    I know a number of federal workers and they don’t want the “protection”. Like most government workers they do not live paycheck to paycheck. Therefore this type thing always just amounts to paid vacation (albeit with delayed payment).

    Of course they could plan anything too exotic since they didn’t know when they would return.

  2. Carl P says:

    I meant they “couldn’t” plan anything exotic.

  3. BillO says:

    Hey Carl P
    Assuming your data points are representative of most government workers. Why would your number of workers NOT want “protection”?

    1. Carl P says:

      The protection would prevent future shutdowns, so no more extra days off which are eventually paid.. As far as data points it is mainly based on the DC area government hub, I lived there 50+ years and knew lots of federal workers.

  4. Wall says:

    President Trump caved and we got NO WALL. This was his #1 campaign promis to us.

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