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What Happens in a Government Shutdown?
Posted at 10:35 a.m. on Sept. 28, 2013
CBS News: “Programs deemed essential — like air traffic control systems, Medicare, and food inspections — would keep running. The U.S. Postal Service is self-funded, so operations would continue uninterrupted.”
“Still, millions of federal workers deemed non-essential would be furloughed with no guarantee of back-pay. Social Security checks and veterans’ benefits would still go to recipients, but they could go out late, since there would be fewer workers to process them. Additionally, passport and visa applications could be put on hold, as well as small business and home mortgage lending programs. National parks and museums would be closed.”
“While monuments in Washington would be closed, the Capitol building would stay open. Congress is exempted from the furloughs, though some lawmakers could protest that rule.”
Wall Street Journal: “The federal government employs roughly 2.8 million civilians and has an annual payroll of more than $200 billion. But the U.S. economy is enormous and, by many accounts, life would simply go on for most people post-shutdown. The military would still be on duty. “Essential services,” such as air traffic control would continue. Social Security checks would still arrive in the mailbox.”
“Still, there are many places where the effects could become palpable very quickly. The federal government may be a massive public-sector employer, but in many ways the distribution of its employees is like that of a private-sector giant, with a big central headquarters and key satellite offices that are the base of many local economies.”
For a complete list of what’s affected if the government shuts down, the White House has posted agency contingency plans.