What’s working, what’s not and where to get free food during partial shutdown

The partial government shutdown is affecting 800,000 federal employees, including about 420,000 who are working without pay at agencies like the Homeland Security and Justice departments.

The partial shutdown also is impacting a host of federal services, communication with the public and bringing out the generosity of the private sector companies that depend on federal workers.

So here is a partial breakdown of what’s happening with the partial shutdown now in place.

Editor’s note: Readers may submit more tweets, Facebook posts or press releases to be added to this list.

Social media

Federal agencies are using social media channels to let citizens know of their status during the partial shutdown:





Thrift Savings Plan

The Thrift Savings Plan assured federal employees and retirees that it will continue to operate despite the partial shutdown.

It also released a fact sheet to inform employees who are on “non-pay” or are furloughed about the status of their TSP loans, contributions and withdrawals.

The document addresses whether employees can take a TSP loan while furloughed and what happens if an employee already has a current TSP loan.

What’s unclear is whether feds can take a TSP loan if the furlough is expected to last less than 30 days. But if the furlough is expected to last longer than 30 days, then the employee can’t take a loan. The problem is no one, not even Congress or the White House, knows how long this partial shutdown will last.

National parks

During the two previous shutdowns this year, the Office of Management and Budget kept the national parks open but closed many of the services. Over the years, the administrations have used the national parks as a way to increase or reduce the pain of shutdowns.

This time around there seems to be a mix of parks that are open and closed.

Those impacted by the partial shutdown include Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore, which is closed. The Washington Monument and the museums on that National mall have enough funding to say open through Dec. 31, says an OMB official.

Arizona and Utah officials put in place plans to keep open the Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches and Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks.

In California, the entrances to Yosemite National Park stayed open Saturday but visitor centers were closed. National Park Service programs were canceled and campgrounds were not staffed.

A notice from the National Park Service said the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island were open, thanks to funding from New York state.

Free food and drink for feds

Several Washington, D.C. area restaurants are pitching in to show some love to federal employees with free food and drink.

Z Burger in the Tenleytown area of Washington, D.C. is offering one free burger to employees when they bring their federal identification on Monday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“Back in 2013, Z-Burger gave out over 15,000 burgers during that shutdown and now Z-Burger is looking to help out furloughed workers again with their choice of a single hamburger, cheeseburger, veggie burger or turkey burger,” said Z-Burger owner Peter Tabibian in a release.

Famed Washington, D.C.-area chef Jose Andres is once again giving federal employees free food.

And the Capitol Lounge in Washington, D.C. started offering special shutdown cocktails at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Copyright © 2019 Federal News Network. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.