This story was updated to include statements from the South Dakota Department of Health received after the story was first published.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Lawmakers have until Sunday, October 1 to come to a decision on federal spending before the government shut downs.
If Congress fails to pass all 12 bills appropriating federal dollars, all government work will come to a halt and shut down for the first time in years and impact thousands of South Dakotans with federal jobs and people on assistance programs.
The White House has issued multiple statements this week on how a shutdown would affect military personnel, transportation and people on the WIC program— also known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
In an emailed statement to KELOLAND News on Thursday, the South Dakota Department of Health, the agency that oversees WIC, said the South Dakota program is usually not affected by a shutdown and will continue to operate with little disruption to the public.
However, the Biden administration said if the government shuts down, federal dollars that funds the WIC program would dry up in just a few days. We have asked the DOH to clarify where the money to fund South Dakota WIC program will come from if federal dollars are frozen. We will update the story with there response.
In South Dakota, 13,637 women, children and infants rely on WIC for nutrition assistance.
The program is run through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and it helps low-income mothers, pregnant women and children up to age 5 with nutritional financial assistance. The National WIC Association said without funds from the government, they may be forced to enact a waitlist for WIC.
“Congress must live up to its responsibility to all those who depend on the program, providing sufficient funding in a continuing resolution to ensure no one is turned away from WIC in the short term and full funding in a year-end spending package to support WIC’s critical mission moving forward,” the National WIC Association said in a statement.
Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are funded through separate processes and will not be impacted by a potential government shutdown.
CBS News spoke with Jason Fichtner, the former acting deputy commissioner at the Social Security Administration, who said operations will continue as the money to fund SSA comes from a trust fund. Activities that will continue include replacing a social security card, applying for benefits and requesting appeals.
“The bottom line is Social Security payments still go out even during a government shutdown,” Fichtner said.
Fichtner also told CBS that disability payments will continue as well. Some services however, will temporarily stop during a shutdown, including applying for assistance programs and replacing Medicare cards.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough said in a press conference last week that a government shutdown will not impact VA healthcare. He said appeals processes, burials and benefits will all continue during a shutdown.
More than 13,000 air traffic controllers, 50,000 Transportation Security Officers and thousands of aviation administrators and security personnel would go without pay if the government shuts down, the Biden Administration said in a news release Wednesday morning.
“In previous shutdowns, this led to significant delays and longer wait times for travelers at airports across the country,” the release said. “Additionally, an Extreme Republican Shutdown would halt air traffic controller training— potentially leading to long-term disruptions to the industry at a moment when we’ve seen critical progress filling a backlog of controllers.”
South Dakota has 67 TSA officers and 17 air traffic controllers, the release said.
There will be 3,300 South Dakota active duty members that may not receive their paychecks if the government runs out of money and shuts down October 1. The Biden administration says this, along with the possibility that the Department of Defense is furloughed, is a national security risk.
This would affect “the ways in which the Department manages its affairs globally, including the vital task of recruiting new members of the military,” the news release said.