Statement from the Office of Senator Brian Schatz on Government Shutdown Protocol
Washington, DC—Despite knowing that a government shutdown would hurt seniors, veterans, families, and dedicated public servants, as well as put our economic well-being at risk, House Republicans have stubbornly refused to agree to fund the federal government. Due to their recklessness, the United States government has been forced to shutdown.
Senator Schatz will continue to work to fund the government. However, Senate legal counsel has informed our office that some of our functions must be suspended. With great disappointment, we announce that all constituent service work is legally prohibited from taking place and will be temporarily suspended.
The Senate is only permitted to function in furtherance of its constitutionally-mandated authority to legislate. Therefore, our office is operating with a drastically reduced staff. As soon as this situation has been resolved, the office will resume all duties, including answering constituent calls, inquiries, and letters.
We hope that cooler heads prevail and that this crisis will soon come to an end. In the meantime, Social Security and veterans’ benefits will continue to be paid, but claims by new seniors and veterans will be delayed. Medicare and Medicaid payments will not be affected in the short term because they are funded through mandatory payments.
For a complete list of agency operations, please visit the Office of Management and Budget’s Agency Contingency page for details, http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/contingency-plans.