Would a government shutdown impact holiday travel, mail?

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Just in time for Christmas, the government partially shut down at midnight Saturday.

The federal government and Democrats were at an impasse, with funding for a border wall at the center of the fight.

President Trump had urged Senate Republicans to use the so-called “nuclear option” to pass a spending bill that includes enough funding for a border wall. The House scrambled to put together a package late Thursday that included the $5.7 billion the president wants but was unable to agree on a deal to fund the government by Friday.

Trump has warned that a closure could drag on “for a very long time.”

The dispute could affect nine of 15 Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, Agriculture, State and Justice, as well as national parks and forests. Every agency has a contingency plan, as managed by the Office of Management and Budget.

A shutdown would impact more than 800,000 people, including more than 420,000 who would still be required to work but without pay, Senate Democrats have estimated. More than 380,000 government employees would be furloughed, lawmakers said.

Here’s a look at how your holiday services will fare now that the government has shuttered ahead of Christmas.


You can still mail your Christmas list to Santa even if the government is shuttered as the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) confirmed neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night nor a shutdown would deter the mail.

“Postal Service operations will not be interrupted in the event of a government shutdown, and all Post Offices will remain open for business as usual. Because we are an independent entity that is funded through the sale of our products and services, and not by tax dollars, our services will not be impacted by a government shutdown,” a spokesman confirmed to Fox News.


While it would still be open, the USPS has warned it officially entered Monday what it predicts to be its busiest week. The Postal Service expects to deliver about 3 billion pieces of mail just this week.


Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents would still screen holiday travelers during one of the busiest times of the years – although they might not get a paycheck right away in the event of a shutdown, according to NPR.

In addition to TSA agents, air traffic controllers and border security agents are deemed essential personnel and would be required to work through a government shutdown.


Amtrak, a government-owned corporation, will continue with normal operations during a short-term shutdown, spokeswoman Kimberly Woods confirmed to Fox News.

“Customers planning to travel on Amtrak trains in the Northeast Corridor and across the country in the coming days and weeks can be assured that Amtrak will remain open for business,” she said.

When the government shut down earlier this year, travelers were still able to get their passports, albeit with some delays, according to CNBC.

Santa tracking

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will continue to track Santa, even if the government shuts down, it confirmed.

"Military personnel who conduct NORAD Tracks Santa are supported by approximately 1,500 volunteers who make the program possible each and every year," NORAD said in confirming the 63-year tradition will continue.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.