How A Possible Government Shutdown Would Affect You - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

How A Possible Government Shutdown Would Affect You


By Chris Cannon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The clock is ticking down to a possible government shutdown, while Democrats and Republicans continue to try and find a budget compromise. If they cannot come to an agreement, the federal government will shutdown at 11:01 p.m. CST Thursday night.

"Shutting down the government, I think is irresponsible," according to House Speaker John Boehner.

Still, with every hour that passes without a budget agreement in Congress -- the federal government moves closer to going out of business.

"The question we really don't have a feel for, because this happens so rarely, is how quickly it has an affect," said Vanderbilt University political science professor Bruce Oppenheimer.

Oppenheimer said the impact of a shutdown depends on how long it lingers.

"And clearly the longer this goes on, the bigger the implications are," Oppenheimer added.

Nonessential federal employees would be out of work during the shutdown, that's 800,000 people who won't get paid.

Uncle Sam will have the money to send out checks for social security, medicare and veterans benefits. But many local programs who depend on federal money could be out of luck.

A shutdown could shutter your travel plans. All federal parks and museums across the country would close. The processing of passports and visa would also stop during a shutdown, affecting international travel.

"Maybe you've applied for a passport that you need in a rush and all of the sudden you're having difficulty," Oppenheimer explained.

Tax day is coming and the IRS would stop processing paper returns and could delay sending out refunds, but you still have to file by April 18.

The Federal Housing Administration would also close during a shutdown. That agency guarantees 30 percent of all mortgages in the U.S., and that could have a dramatic impact on the housing market.

The FBI, Homeland Security, and air traffic controllers are considered essential personnel and will remain on the job in the event of a shutdown.

The U.S. Postal Service will also continue to operate. They are a self-supported agency, not funded with tax dollars.


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