2023 Government Shutdown

The VI’s guide to stay informed during the 2023 Government Shutdown

As you are probably already aware, the United States government is on its way to a shutdown due to debates on funding the government. If legislation is not enacted to continue to fund the government, on October 1, 2023, at 12:00am ET certain government programs will be impacted, resulting in a range of essential services being left disrupted.  We might be able to avoid this disaster, but even so we want to ensure you have the information you need on the potential 2023 government shutdown and how it might affect your everyday life.

Here’s what you need to know:

How did we get here?

Each year, Congress must pass laws and legislation to fund all government operations for the coming fiscal year. Although President Biden and Democrats are united in fighting to maintain spending for the programs our communities need to thrive, there is not a consensus in the House with Republicans.

How to Contact the Office of Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett:

  • Regardless of a government shutdown, our office will remain open to assist you.
  • Constituents who need assistance can reach one of our caseworkers, 9-5pm, Mon-Fri, at (340)-778-5900 in our St. Croix office or at (340)-774-4408 in our St. Thomas office. Please be aware we will have a greatly reduced ability to assist constituents because many Federal Agencies will be closed due to the shutdown.
  • If you have a comment or would like to share how this shutdown is impacting you, please reach out to us at our D.C. office, 9-5pm, Mon-Fri, at (202)-225-1790.

According to recent data from the House Budget Committee Democrats, a shutdown could have the following repercussions:

  • About 417 civilian federal government employees in the Virgin Islands, excluding Armed forces servicemembers, may face furloughs and be unable to work.
  • Federal law enforcement, air traffic controllers, TSA officers, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, and military servicemembers would be mandated to work without pay.
  • Although the USDA will continue administering SNAP benefits for October after a September 30 shutdown, benefits could be jeopardized if the shutdown extends into November or later.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture will halt loan processing for farmers.
  • Passport offices will suspend the processing of new passports, leading to delays for those currently in process.
  • While Social Security recipients will still receive their checks, the Social Security Administration will offer limited services, and certain operations like benefit verifications will be halted. Customer service wait times are expected to rise significantly.
  • Medicare, Medicaid, and disability insurance beneficiaries will maintain their benefits, provided the shutdown doesn't exceed three months.
  • All VA medical facilities will remain open, and veterans' benefits will continue to be processed. Nevertheless, other essential services for veterans, such as job training and assistance for homeless veterans, could be disrupted.
  • USPS operations will remain unaffected.

We are committed to aiding our constituents during this period, though again please be aware that responses from affected federal agencies might be delayed.