The U.S. government has reopened temporarily after the longest shutdown in American history, which lasted 35 days.
President Trump passed a bill on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019 to temporarily reopen the U.S. government through Feb. 15. Over the next few days, the nation will be moving towards normalcy once again.
Federal workers, who have gone unpaid since the beginning of the shutdown on Dec. 21, will get full pay over the next few days. Some are predicting federal employees will begin quitting at alarming rates in the near future, at rates to quick to replace efficiently.
The IRS will also be up and running again, hopefully restoring their online services quickly to aid tax preparers in time for tax season. Tax season is expected to be rough this year with the IRS struggling to aid taxpayers as the agency deals with backlogs.
The Department of the Interior will be spending much of the time between now and Feb.15 trying to clean and fix the damage at national parks. While the parks were unmonitored in the past month, many suffered damage from the public in forms of cut down trees, vandalism, and trash littering the premises.
Federal websites will be updated with security certificates that expired during the shutdown. At least 130 “.gov” websites were affected, some made inaccessible due to expired security certificates and others left with insecure communications.
Farmers and ranchers will be able to apply for relief payments through Farm Service Agency offices once again, and commodity traders and growers will be able to see crop data reports from the Department of Agriculture to aid in making decisions for 2019.
SNAP benefits for 39 million people are still up in the air. USDA paid February benefits using a budgetary workaround, but funding for March remains uncertain.
It is important to remember that this is a temporary reopening. If Congress and President Trump do not reach an agreement by Feb. 15, the government will be shut down once again and many people will go without pay and without federal aid.