13 Museums & Other Locations The Government Shutdown Has Affected In A Big Way
As the government shutdown drags on, even more government-funded sites are seeing closures. On Wednesday, the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo joined a growing list of sites that have been shuttered after their unused funds from the previous year ran out. But they're not alone — more than a dozen places were forced to close because of the government shutdown.
Much of the government is still funded — and up and running — including the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Labor, Education, and Veterans Affairs. They're funding doesn't expire until October of 2019.
The same can't be said for the Department of the Interior, the Department of Justice, or the Department of Homeland Security, home to many government agencies critical to the country's security.
Some areas of government technically out of money were deemed essential, meaning that the workers still need to come in, they just aren't getting paid for that work. For now, TSA employees have to show up for work, as do air traffic controllers. But President Donald Trump could probably change that if he wanted to really drive his point home, MarketWatch reports.
In general, the longer the shutdown lasts, the more services will be affected. The list could definitely keep growing.
Smithsonian museums tried to use leftover money to stay in business during the holidays, but they finally closed Wednesday. This affects eleven museums and galleries on the National Mall, and six other museums in the area.
The National Zoo
The same goes for the National Zoo, as it's run by the Smithsonian. Don't worry about the animals, though. Essential employees will be going to work, and the animals will be fed.
The National Gallery Of Art
The National Gallery of Art — an independent institution from the Smithsonian — is putting on a brave face for social media. The Washington Post reports it will be closed starting Thursday.
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery, though, is actually a part of the Smithsonian and shut on Wednesday.
The DEA Museum
The government's educational wing for the war on drugs has also shut. The Drug Enforcement Administration Museum and Visitors Center has been closed since the beginning of the shutdown.
Washington DC's Marriage Bureau
Most of the DC courts are open, to some degree, but one office has notably been shut. Anyone looking for a marriage license in DC will have to wait for the shutdown to end. The Marriage Bureau is closed.
Joshua Tree & Yosemite Campgrounds
Joshua Tree National Park is not closing in its entirety, but certain areas are as toilets reach capacity. That includes the campgrounds. "The park is being forced to take this action for health and safety concerns as vault toilets reach capacity," the National Park Service said in a statement. "In addition to human waste in public areas, driving off-road and other infractions that damage the resource are becoming a problem."
The same goes for Yosemite, except for one campsite that is close to a concessions-run facility (and therefore has working bathrooms).
The Lincoln Home
The Clinton Center
Almost all of the country's presidential libraries are closed throughout the shutdown. The Clinton Center in Little Rock is one of them.
The Bush Library
For those looking to visit the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Center — and now the gravesite of 41 — they'll also need to wait for the shutdown to finish. The two exceptions to presidential library shutdowns are George W. Bush's and Ronald Reagan's; the research centers at both are closed, though.
The National Archives
Most of the presidential libraries are run as part of the National Archives. The main facility in Washington D.C. is also closed. That means you can't see the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, or other important documents if you're in town visiting. Researchers are also affected.
Easily the most ironic on the list — given that the shutdown is being fought over a border wall to keep out migrants — is that immigration courts are largely being shut down. They are funded as a part of the Department of Justice, and only cases with a detained individual will go forward during the shutdown. This could add massively to the waitlists, which are already months or years long.
The shutdown doesn't seem any closer to ending, with President Trump digging in his heels about the wall funding. In fact, the list could grow even longer before it's all over.