Arts & Industries Building, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

Smithsonian and Other Federal Institutions Remain Open Despite Government Shutdown

The Smithsonian Institution and the National Zoo in Washington, DC, as well as several other federally funded institutions, including the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, and the National Museum of the American Indian in Manhattan will remain open on Monday, January 22, despite the government shutdown, which is now in its third day.

In a statement issued over the weekend, the Smithsonian said that it would use “funds available” from previous years to keep the museums open on Monday. While the museums may close if a budget cannot be agreed upon by the Senate, officials from the National Zoo assured the public that the animals would continue receiving excellent care during this time.

Among the highly debated issues that are dividing members of the Senate are funding for immigrants affected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), defense spending, which includes money for President Trump’s border wall, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). While Democrats and Republicans are trading blame over the shutdown, which officially started Saturday at midnight, thousands of federal employees are in limbo as they wait for senators to come to an agreement. A vote over whether to continue funding the government for the next three weeks will take place at noon today.