“We are expected to still show up for work on Monday and figure it out from there.”
Are you hoping to get a new passport next week? Not even the State Department knows if you can.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said his department is “ready” if the government shutters Friday at midnight, but his own employees have no clue what will happen, what it might mean for them — and therefore what that means for you.
“We are expected to still show up for work on Monday and figure it out from there,” a State Department official told me.
Another employee who works at a US embassy said that US missions usually designate people as essential employees who must work during government shutdowns; others are considered non-essential and therefore can’t work. As of Thursday, no such list has been created, the official said.
A third department official said his bosses continue to ask for guidance from their higher-ups, but have yet to hear any information about how to proceed.
All three officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they had not received authorization to discuss the State Department’s plans in case of a government shutdown.
These accounts correlate with State’s official statements. Heather Nauert, a spokesperson for the State Department, told reporters on Thursday that the department had yet to make any decisions about which services it could provide during a shutdown but that “we will be prepared for all contingencies.”
So let’s be clear about what all of this means: Just one day before the government could potentially shutter its doors for an unknown period of time, the State Department still doesn’t have clear plans for how it will function.
That means we don’t yet know if US citizens can apply for new passports or visas, or if Americans who are Read More Here