The longest government shutdown in American history may have ended (for now), but the effects are likely to be felt for quite a while. Many of our nation’s most critical agencies were left understaffed and vulnerable while a political staring contest took place on Capitol Hill. Despite the resumption of normal operations, these agencies are reeling from a backlog of work, and it will be long before operations are truly normalized. Though the alphabet soup of Washington’s departments and agencies may appear unrelated to the lives of ordinary citizens, there is one agency in particular whose function is deeply entrenched in the well-being of every American: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS). While technically on a three-week hiatus, the shutdown has had a destructive impact on the functionality of an agency already littered with its own institutional problems and security concerns.
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