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Sat Jan 12, 2019, 06:40 PM

Selective shutdown?

The government shutdown is wreaking havoc on many Americans: Hundreds of thousands of federal employees don’t know when they’ll see their next paycheck, and low-income people who rely on the federal safety net worry about whether they’ll make ends meet should the stalemate in Washington carry on another month.

But if you’re a sportsman looking to hunt game, a gas company planning to drill offshore, or a taxpayer awaiting your refund , you’re in luck: This shutdown won’t affect your plans.

Despite the shutdown, the Bureau of Land Management is continuing work related to drilling efforts in Alaska. The IRS is using user fees to restore the income verification program, used by mortgage lenders to confirm the income of a borrower and considered a critical tool for the banking industry. The focus on services that reach influential industries and is intended to protect Republicans from blowback.

The Food and Drug Administration has scaled back on food inspections. The Department of Agriculture recently announced that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides food aid to nearly 40 million low-income Americans, will continue to operate through February because of a loophole in the short-term spending bill, which expired Dec. 22. But should the shutdown stretch into March, the department’s reserves for the program, $3 billion, won’t cover a month of benefits for all who need them. Other feeding programs, such as school lunch, food distribution and WIC, which provides nutrition aid to pregnant women, mothers and babies, are also in jeopardy should the shutdown last until March.

Hundreds of federal contracts for low-income Americans receiving housing assistance are expiring. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is unable to renew them and has instead directed private owners to dip into their reserves to cover shortfalls.

https://www.apnews.com/66b50739f4b84063a2ff56dff3156712

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