So, what is "open" and what is truly "shut down"? First, it means that 4 of the Top 10 ArtPrize exhibits had to be moved outside of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
Here's a list out of NBC4 in DC. YOU'LL FIND MORE HERE!
No national parks. No Smithsonian. (And no Panda Cam.) No new applications for social security, no tax audits, no way to check that the employee you want to hire is a citizen.
The government officially shut down at midnight Oct. 1. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers were furloughed, and some of the D.C.-based services tourists and locals alike rely on will be closed.
Here’s a list of what you likely can and can’t do during a government shutdown. We’ll be adding to the list; if you know of something we’ve left off, email us and we’ll research it.
During a shutdown, YOU CAN:
Get help from 911: All emergency services will continue as usual, including law enforcement and emergency and disaster assistance.
Get caught by a red light camera in D.C.: Red light cameras will still be running, and tickets will still be sent out, which brings us to the next item on the list....
Get mail: Employees of the United States Postal Service are exempt from furloughs.
Get your Social Security benefits: Payments will still be issued, although some could be delayed due to a reduction in workforce.
Get a passport, probably: The Bureau of Consular Affairs is funded by fees rather than appropriated funds, so it will continue to operate, a spokesperson tells NBC Washington. However, some State Department passport offices are located in federal buildings that may have to shut down, so you should check to see if your preferred passport office is open before visiting.
Sign up for healthcare exchanges: Despite the GOP's attempts to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act, the plan is already funded, and online healthcare exchanges are scheduled to open Tuesday for uninsured Americans. (Read more.)
Get your trash picked up, even if you live in D.C.: Even if Mayor Vincent Gray's attempt to declare all city workers essential is rejected, the district has about two weeks' worth of money on hand already authorized by Congress, which might be enough to wait out a fairly brief shutdown.
Be protected by the U.S. military: All active-duty military personnel are exempt from furloughs, and Congress has approved a measure to continue to pay troops on time.
Ride Amtrak: While Amtrak receives federal subsidies, it's organized as a corporation and collects enough revenue in ticket fees to outlast a brief shutdown.
Take Metrorail and Metrobus: Metro assured riders Monday that the system would stay open in the event of a shutdown, although it could shorten some trains (for example, from eight cars to six) if ridership is down because fewer people are going to work.
Travel by air: Federal air traffic controllers and most TSA agents would continue showing up to work, although you may find some longer lines at security checkpoints.
Apply for a new patent: The U.S Patent Office is funded for the next four weeks, which should be enough to outlast any government shutdown.
Safely eat meat: Meat inspectors with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will continue to report to work because they're essential for public safety.
Learn about the unemployment rate: The September jobs report will be released Friday.
Get an unemployment check: Checks will still be sent out, although some payments may be delayed due to a reduction in workforce.
Get food stamps: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will continue to be distributed.
Pay taxes: All tax payments will continue to be processed. Note that millions of taxpayers have requested 6-month extensions on their 2012 tax filings, and that the deadline for that is Oct. 15. That deadline is not expected to change.
Get weather warnings and watches: All National Weather Service offices will be open and will continue to provide forecasts and severe weather alerts.
During a shutdown, YOU CAN'T:
Apply for new Medicare or Social Security benefits: While current recipients will continue to receive payments, a reduction in staff would mean no new applications can be processed.
Visit the Capitol: While the Capitol will remain open for congressional matters, it will be closed to visitors.
Get a new small business loan: Existing loans would be honored, but new applications would not be accepted.
Go to the Smithsonian or National Zoo: About 90 percent of the museums' 6,400 workers will be furloughed, with all museums and the zoo to be closed. The animals will still get fed, but visitors won't be around to see that.
Camp in a national park: All national parks -- from Yosemite to Shenandoah National Park -- will close, and day visitors will have to leave immediately. (But longer-term campers already in parks will have two days to leave.)
Visit a Civil War Battlefield: Like national parks, historic battlefields will be closed.
Watch the Zoo's Panda Cam: We know -- in the event of a government shutdown, there are more important things for many people to worry about. But D.C.'s first panda cub in years was a cause for celebration around the region, and huge numbers of fans have flocked to the Panda Cam since the cub's birth in August.
Visit the monuments: D.C.'s monuments are under control of the National Park Service, which means tourists wouldn't get to visit sites such as the Lincoln, World War II or Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorials. The NPS will begin turning off fountains and blocking entrances early Tuesday in the event of a shutdown.
Check the legal work status of an employee: The E-Verify system allows employers across the country to check on immigration status, but it's a federal website, which means it would be shut down.
Continue to be audited: The IRS will suspend audit activities. (They will begin again as soon as the government shutdown is over.)
Go rowing, if you're part of a crew team that uses a boathouse on federal land: Many local high school teams use boathouses on the Anacostia and Potomac rivers, but access would be cut off in the event of a shutdown
- My first job was as a "Soda Jerk" at Cone Corners in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. (Cheesy, huh?)
- Every spring, I participate in the World's Largest Trivia Contest in my hometown of Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Out of about 500 teams and 10-12,000 players, we usually finish in the top 100!!! It's 54 straight hours of useless information and I love it. See? I'm not wired right. Just for the record, my team placed 73rd this year. :)
- I am a proud doggie mommy of "Spooner." She's a rescue who was an abused puppy mill mom. I am amazed at the FANTASTIC rescues and shelters we have in West Michigan. If you think you want to add to your family, the joy of a shelter pet in unparalleled!
- I was the lead singer in a cover band and I miss it.