The U.S. Embassy in Bucharest restricts activity over lack of appropriated funds, emergency services still on

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The U.S. Embassy to Romania has announced on Monday there are no funds available to carry out the activity of the diplomatic mission, yet assuring that emergency consular and visa services ‘will continue during the lapse in appropriations’.

“All routine and emergency Consular and visa services at the U.S. Embassy, Bucharest will continue during the lapse in appropriations. Applicants with appointments should appear at their scheduled time. This website will not be regularly updated until full operations resume, with the exception of emergency safety and security information,” reads an alert on the embassy’s website.

In an email sent to the Department of State employees three days ago, acting Director General William Todd said that “a number of government activities would cease due to a lack of appropriated funding, and that a number of employees would be temporarily furloughed,” if a government shutdown were to occur.

Heather Nauert, a spokesperson for the State Department, also told reporters last 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.”

The move comes after the Republicans and the Democrats fails to reach a consensus over budget in the Congress.

This isn’t the first time the department that handles US foreign policy has faced a shutdown. In 2011, the Obama administration sent out guidance about what the State Department could do in case the government closed.

The last time the government closed for two weeks was in 2013, but however the State Department didn’t have to make many changes. Only 340 of its employees couldn’t work out of hundreds of thousands. The State Department had to scale back some non-essential activities, however, and delay some of its security assistance payments to some countries.

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