TRENTON — With President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress staring each other down, the possibility of a federal government shutdown beginning Friday is looming larger and could directly and indirectly affect New Jersey.

  • Emergency and disaster assistance, criminal investigations, air traffic control, protection of federal property, and essential public health and safety operations will continue, albeit possibly with a reduced workforce, according to ABC 7 Eyewitness News. In the 16-day government shutdown in 2013, approximately 3 out of every 7 federal workers were furloughed by the end. A shorter shutdown will mean fewer people out of work).
  • Active-duty military personnel remain on duty, though they may be working without pay for the duration of the shutdown. A tweet sent by President Trump last week claiming that Democrats would be “shutting down the military” was called an "exaggeration" by Politifact.
  • Death benefit payments to families of deceased service members may be delayed, as reported by the Washington Post, but VA hospitals (two main campuses in East Orange and the Lyons section of Bernards, plus other facilities) remain open.
  • National parks will be shuttered. New Jersey officially has nine of them, though trails and other areas that cover several states also include New Jersey. Still, this means Morristown Historical Park, the Paterson Great Falls, and Thomas Edison’s home will be closed to visitors. Ellis Island will likely close, as well as the Delaware Water Gap recreation area.
  • Federal loan and permit applications (and those for passports and visas) will be put on hold. This, of course, includes small business loans and mortgage approvals.
  • Social Security checks may not be sent out depending on how long the shutdown lasts. Even the 2013 shutdown ended a day short of this happening.
  • Funding for school lunch programs could dwindle.
  • Federal courts are open.
  • Food stamps WILL continue to be distributed. 
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would not be able to issue gun permits, CNN reported.
  • U.S. Postal Service will continue delivery.
  • New Jersey’s Congressional delegation will continue to be paid.

Patrick Lavery produces "New Jersey's First News" and is New Jersey 101.5's morning drive breaking news reporter. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email

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