Alcatraz potentially among Bay Area victims of looming federal government shutdown 

Tourists who have “visit Alcatraz” on their list of things to do while in San Francisco this weekend may have no choice but to plan a return trip to The City.

The island may be one part of the federal government shutdown if Congress and the president cannot agree on a budget by 9 p.m. PDT tonight. The monthslong standoff is finally coming to a head, and parts of the government deemed “nonessential” could be shuttered until a compromise can be reached. As of press time Thursday, no budget had been agreed upon.

Mail would be delivered, Social Security and unemployment benefits would keep coming, and troops would still serve. But hundreds of thousands of employees could be furloughed, including workers at the Social Security Administration, Department of Labor and many Justice Department employees. Agencies like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Small Business Administration could also shut their doors.

National parks could be gated. Alexandra Picavet of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area said it’s still unclear how much access would be allowed to areas like Fort Point and Muir Woods. However, all law enforcement and safety personnel would remain on-duty.

Federal dollars that support city and county agencies could be slowed or stopped, but mayoral spokeswoman Christine Falvey said this probably won’t affect the public if the situation is resolved within a couple of weeks.

What services would be affected

IRS would stop processing paper returns and suspend audits. Deadline would remain April 18.

Air travel
Air traffic controllers would continue to work, as would security officials and federal inspectors.

Passports and visas
The State Department could delay or stop approving new passports and visas for international travel.

Social Security and unemployment
Payments would continue and applications would be processed.

Postal Service
Daily deliveries would continue.

National parks
Only law enforcement personnel would work; Alcatraz would close.

Troops would work, but their pay could be delayed. Civilians could be furloughed.

FBI, CIA, Secret Service
All essential public safety employees would remain on duty.

Criminal trials would continue, but civil litigation could be delayed.

Source: AP, U.S. Office of Personnel Management

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