How the government shutdown impacts you

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Parts of the federal government have been shut down for almost three weeks over funding for a border wall in the southern part of the United States.

More than 7,000 Iowans who work for the federal government are either working and not getting paid or are not working and not getting paid while the shutdown continues. Friday will mark the first day they were slated to get a paycheck, but if the government remains shut down, they will miss that paycheck. 

Local 5 On Your Side outlined the different ways that Iowans are impacted by the shutdown.

Small Business Owners

Because many Iowans who own small businesses rely on federal loans from the government to operate, many who want to apply for these loans cannot because there is no one at the federal government to process those loans.

College Students

Local 5 spoke to college employees and a student at Iowa State University. They are impacted by the government shutdown because some college students who receive federal money from the government to go to school are worried they may not make it to class because they don’t have money to pay for tuition. 

Researchers at Iowa universities also rely on federal grants to do some of their research studies, and that may be in jeopardy if the shutdown continues longer.

Iowa Farmers and Producers

Ag producers and some farmers who rely on the E-Verify system are not able to verify if a prospective employee is permitted to work because that federal system is not working amid the shutdown.

Food Inspections

The Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the Food and Drug Administration, said in its release about the government shutdown that it would be “unable to support some routine regulatory and compliance activities,” which includes “most food-related activities.”


In Des Moines, residents in Section 8 housing, which is funded by the federal government, has not been impacted by the federal government shutdown, according to a spokesperson for the city. However, if potential homeowners want to buy a home and help finance it through a federal government loan, they are unable to do that because of the shutdown.

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