News from Congressman Scott Peters 


October 7, 2013

Dear Friend,

As we speak, the federal government is shut down for the first time since 1995. I am extremely disappointed that the gridlock in Congress has come to this point. I am a member of both No Labels, a bipartisan group of 80 lawmakers, and the United Solutions Caucus, a group of freshman members on both sides of the aisle who came to Congress to solve problems and change the way Washington works from the bottom up.

Click the image below to hear my interview on KOGO AM-600 from last week talking about the government shutdown and the need for a reasonable, bipartisan solution to end it.

If you have questions about how the federal government shutdown may be impacting you or what agencies and facilities are open, see below or feel free to contact either of my offices. My staff is working an extended schedule to answer your questions and hear your concerns.


Frequently Asked Questions

Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other mandatory programs aren't affected for current beneficiaries. However, new claims or applications for Social Security will not be processed until the end of a shutdown.

Federal Workers

Nationwide about 800,000 federal employees will see their paychecks jeopardized or delayed. About 169,000 of those are in California and may include civilian defense contractors.

US military

The military's 1.4 million active-duty personnel are staying on duty. About half of the Defense Department's civilian employees have been furloughed.

National Parks and Museums

All national parks and federal wildlife refuges are closed for the duration of the shutdown. About 9 million visitors were turned away from parks, museums and monuments run by the National Park Service in the mid-1990s, the last time the government shut down temporarily. This includes Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma. Further, businesses inside parks or near them that rely on visitor business will likely face revenue shortfalls and could be forced to out of business.


NASA has furloughed almost all of its employees, but it will continue to keep workers at Mission Control in Houston and elsewhere to support the International Space Station. The National Weather Service will keep forecasting weather and issuing warnings and the National Hurricane Center will continue to track storms.

Further, new patients are not being accepted at the National Institutes of Health, and research at the facility has been delayed. Also, the CDC's ability to identify outbreaks would be greatly limited.


Federal air traffic controllers remain on the job and airport will continue to operate security checkpoints; delays are possible. Federal inspectors will continue enforcing safety rules.

The State Department will continue processing foreign applications for visas and US applications for passports, since fees are collected to finance those services. Delays, however are expected due to a shutdown. Embassies and consulates overseas will continue to provide services to American citizens.

Courts/Law Enforcement

Federal courts will continue to operate normally for about 10 business days after the start of a shutdown. If the shutdown continues after such a point, the judiciary may have to begin furloughs of employees whose work is not considered essential. Cases would continue to be heard, however, in such a case.

The US supreme court is scheduled to begin its new term today, October 7. In previous government shutdowns, it continued to operate as normal.

The FBI and DEA continue to operate, but the Justice Department may be forced to suspend cases and E-Verify programs would not be operated.


Deliveries continue as usual because the US Postal Service receives no tax dollars for day-to-day operations. It relies on income from stamps and other postal fees to keep running.

Homeland security

The majority of the Department of Homeland Security's employees are on the job, including uniformed agents and officers at the country's borders and ports of entry, members of the Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration officers, Secret Service personnel and other law enforcement agents and officers. US Citizenship and Immigration Services employees will continue to process green card applications.

Veterans services

Most services offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs continue. Veterans are still able to visit hospitals for inpatient care, mental health counseling, or get prescriptions filled at VA health clinics. Operators still staff the crisis hotline and claims workers still process payments to cover disability and pension benefits.

Those veterans appealing the denial of disability benefits to the Board of Veterans Appeals will have to wait longer for a decision because the board does not issue decisions during a shutdown. Further, educational, compensation, and pension benefit processing may be delayed.

Small Business

Applications for grants at the Small Business Adminstration are going unread until the end of a shutdown. California is home to nearly 700,000 small businesses.

Home Loans

Applications to the Federal Housing Administration, guarantor for about 30% of home mortgages, are going unread as the FHA cannot approve any new loan applications during a government shutdown.

Student Loans

Pell Grants and Direct Student loans continue to be honored, however there may be disruptions and delays with support services. During the shutdown however, the Department of Education is not expected to issue any new award grants to campus-based programs.


Federal taxes continue to be collected during a shutdown however processing for some refunds may not be processed until a shutdown ceased.


Staying in Contact

Please continue to let me know your thoughts on issues facing our country. Feel free to email me or call my office at 202-225-0508 or 858-455-5550 if you have any questions, suggestions, or issues with a federal agency. For updates on what I'm working on make sure to 'like' me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter at @RepScottPeters, or visit my website.






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Washington DC Office
2410 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-0508
San Diego District Office
4350 Executive Drive, Ste. 105
San Diego, CA 92121
Phone: 858-455-5550

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