With less than 10 hours left until the federal budget deadline and no deal in sight, a government shutdown now looks imminent.Federal agencies have already prepared to close up shop. But questions remain about what kind of impact it would have and how disruptive it will be to your life. American public.
Here’s a look at who and what might might suffer if Democrats and Republicans can’t reach a deal by tonight.
Uniformed personnel would still serve during a shutdown but won't get paid until the government reopens. If the shutdown happens Friday, in the middle of the military's two-week pay period, troops will get paid for just this week. House Republicans have introduced a bill to pay the troops if the budget isn't reached.
The majority of the defence Department's civilian employees will be sent home without pay, along with most workers at the State Department and USAID.
Most of the Department of Homeland Security's 230,000 workers will work (without pay) during a shutdown - that includes U.S. border patrol, airport security guards and the U.S. Coast Guard. Congress will likely provide retroactive pay to these workers when the government restarts. Recruiting and training will likely be suspended.
All non-essential federal employees will be sent home during a shutdown. Union reps estimate that at least 800,000 government workers will be furloughed if Congress can't reach a deal.
Although furloughed workers got retroactive pay during the last shut down, but many predict that won't be the case this time around. Republicans, intent on cutting spending, have said that employees won't get paid for their time off.
National Institute of Health's disease hotlines and CDC surveillance will likely be stopped so try not to catch swine flu this weekend. The NIH will also not be accepting new patients or starting new clinical trials during a shutdown, although ongoing clinical trials will be allowed to continue.
Financial regulation will virtually stop during a shutdown, according to the Office of Budget and Management. Stock broker inspections will be put on hold and federal agencies will stop receiving and handling corporate financial disclosures. Routine oversight of financial markets and most enforcement will end during a shutdown.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission will conduct only minimal oversight of the markets.
Also, the Department of Energy will stop publishing weekly reports on U.S. oil inventories, gas prices and natural gas storage.
Some contractors could be locked out of their offices or cut government-funded trips short. The Washington-area business community has suggested contracting firms reassign projects, complete training programs or ask employees to take vacations. Some firms may be forced to furlough workers, though, and Congress is unlikely to consider retroactive pay for contractors.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, a longtime spring tradition in downtown Washington scheduled will not take place this weekend unless a deal is reached.
Update: organisers say the Cherry Blossom festival will go on as planned regardless of a shutdown, the Washington Post reports.
The Smithsonian estimates that about 500,000 Washington visitors would be turned away from the National Zoo and museums on the Washington Mall this weekend if the government shuts down Friday night. Guards will keep their jobs.
Members of Congress will be reimbursed their entire salaries no matter how long the shutdown lasts. Most of their staffers won't be so lucky - aides deemed 'non-essential' will be furloughed.
Source: The Cable
The Internal Revenue Service would close during a shutdown but the April tax deadline will remain in place. If you were expecting an audit, however, you may be in luck.
Processing - and refunds - for paper returns will be delayed though so file online.
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