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Grant Programs and the Government Shutdown

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Congress failed to pass a stopgap spending bill last night, resulting in the first government shutdown in 17 years.

The Office of Management and Budget required all federal agencies to provide contingency plans in the event of a government shutdown. These plans provide an overview of department and office activities which will continue and those which will be suspended during the shutdown. Plans can be found here

So what are some examples of the impacts? A couple key variables determining impact include how long the shutdown will last, and whether a program is discretionary or mandatory. Generally speaking, discretionary programs are affected by the shutdown and mandatory programs continue forward. (Grants.gov, by the way, will be operational but with reduced federal support staff.) 

For instance, disaster response will not be affected, but disaster-preparedness grants to states and localities will be suspended. With transportation, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will not continue any of its unfunded core agency functions. No grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, purchase orders, travel authorizations, or other documents obligating funds will be executed. Regarding Head Start and social services programs, new discretionary grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will not be made. Looking at justice, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the Office on Violence Against Women have sufficient resources to remain operational through the first week of the shutdown. 

Fingers crossed that this ends soon.

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