*** UPDATE Jan 22, 2018***
There has been a vote to “re-open” the government until February 8. The temporary period of funding is intended to allow time for a full budget to be agreed (which is where the deals will be done that will decide the future of DV).
I am receiving a number of questions about the government shutdown. I’ll give my thoughts here instead of one by one answers.
First – what the heck is the shutdown all about. Well the US government have a budgeting/funding process which needs government agreement. The two parties have been trying to reach agreement on funding – BUT a number of contentious issues have become argument points in order to gain agreement on the underlying funding. It’s like a grown up version of two kids trying to agree how to share their toys. One kid wants to play with a certain toy, so he offers to clean up the bedroom in exchange for more time – and the other kid agrees that because he wants some other toy. With the government the argument is about immigration matters, and the wall etc. DACA is on the table, as is funding for the wall and other items (including discussion about the future of DV lottery). Agreement on the funding is being held “hostage” until each side gets what they want on other things.
Last night a deadline was reached, without there being an agreement – and that means the government is “shut down”. This shutdown could be over in days, or it could last weeks. It’s now a matter of how a compromise is reached.
So – how does that impact the USA. Well – each shutdown is slightly different in its affects. Essential services (such as the mail delivery, border patrol, social security checks and so on) will continue. Non essential government workers could be told not to show up to work. So – this could close museums, parks and so on. It’s a nuisance, but unless you are a non essential government worker, there isn’t much impact.
For DV lottery we are concerns with the embassies, KCC, and the agencies/workers that perform background checks and so on.
Embassies tend to continue services. DV applications are funded through the fees we pay – so in theory DV processing at embassies should not be affected. However, some staff may not work – and that could have a small impact.
KCC may or may not continue working. That will be decided and announced over the coming days. KCC use a lot of contract workers, so in the past KCC were able to continue to work during similar shutdown (2013 was the last one).
Even if KCC do work, there may be small impacts caused by other workers no being able to work in other agencies that do work supporting KCC.
As ever, we can only guess at the impacts. No one needs to panic. People with appointments arranged should continue to assume the interviews will be held. The 2NLs might be delayed a little. BUT, chances are, we will not see much change, and I expect the shutdown to be resolved pretty soon. This looks bad for the Republicans and Trump – and they will be keen to do a deal to get this resolved.