Congress and President Trump have sidestepped a federal government shutdown — at least for the next two weeks — by agreeing on a short-term bill to keep paying the federal government’s bills. But with no deal in place to continue paying for government services after Dec. 22, here’s what you need to consider or take action on ahead of a potential shutdown:
Need a passport? If you’re planning to travel internationally anytime soon and still need a passport or foreign visa, the State Department suggests making an appointment and applying in person at one of 26 passport agencies as soon as possible.
Mail requests typically take six to eight weeks for routine service or two to three weeks for expedited service.
You can make an appointment online or call 877-487-2778 or 888-874-7793 for information.
Planning a trip to a national park? Most of the nation’s 417 national parks and sites, including popular campgrounds and hotels where reservations are required months in advance, would close if the government shut down. If you have reservations between now and Dec. 22, your trip can continue as scheduled. After that, you could have to change your plans if the government shuts down. Contact the park or check online for more information. To reschedule reservations, call 800-365-2267.
Want to visit a national monument or museum? All National Park Service-run national monuments and museums would close in the event of a shutdown, including the Smithsonian museums and the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Mailing a holiday package or card? The U.S. Postal Service is funded separately and wouldn’t be affected by a shutdown.