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What a potential government shutdown means for Michigan

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A federal government shutdown is poised to begin Sunday if lawmakers cannot reach a deal to fund the government by midnight on September 30.

The shutdown would mean that federal programs and agencies would close their doors, leaving citizens without access to key resources.

Here's what that shutdown could mean for Michigan residents:

Food and Nutritional Benefits

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said it does not anticipate a disruption in food services if the agency were to lose government funding on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the department said that the state has enough funds to continue WIC, a federal food assistance program for women and young children, if the government shuts down.

"We are not anticipating changes in services at this time regarding families receiving assistance but will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation," the spokesperson said in an email.

Social Security and Medicare

Social security and Medicare benefits are considered mandatory programs and are not funded by short-term appropriation bills passed by Congress. That means these benefits will not be impacted by a potential shutdown and social security checks will continue to go out as normal.


Air travel stands to be disrupted in a potential shutdown.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said in a press conference that air travel will continue in the event of a shutdown but the Federal Aviation Administration would have to halt trainings and furlough approximately 1,000 trainers.

Existing air traffic controllers would continue working without pay, potentially leading to increased travel delays and shortages.

Veterans Affairs

The Michigan Veterans' Affairs Agency is funded primarily through the state. However, since the agency often partners with the federal VA, a U.S government shutdown could lead to veterans experiencing delays in some services, said Michigan VA director Adam Hollier.

"The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency will continue operating as normal," he said. "The big challenge we're gonna have is we're gonna see an influx of people who would normally go to services and support, those kinds of things, that they are are not going to be able to get."

George Weykamp is a senior at the University of Michigan studying business law and history. He was the 2022 University Editor at The Michigan Daily where he oversaw coverage of the first firing of a University President in over a century as well as a historic sexual misconduct settlement.