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These are the services that would be impacted by a government shutdown

From air travel to a program that makes sure newborns are being fed, a government shutdown would have wide-ranging consequences.
These are the services that would be impacted by a government shutdown
Posted at 6:14 PM, Sep 26, 2023

The federal government will shut down if Congress does not pass a funding bill by the end of Saturday. 

The holdup is happening in the House of Representatives. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has failed to reach a deal within his own party to fund the government. A handful of far-right Republicans have rallied against a proposed short-term spending bill and called for wide-ranging funding cuts. 

The group is being emboldened by former President Donald Trump.

"Unless you get everything, shut it down," Trump said on Truth Social. 

The Office of Management and Budget has advised federal agencies to review their shutdown plans in preparation of a possible government shutdown. 

Possible furloughs

Thousands of federal employees would be furloughed during the shutdown. However, those who are considered essential, including military personnel, would have to report to work without pay. They would be reimbursed for their time once the federal government reopens. 

Closure of national parks

A government shutdown would likely impact national parks across the country.

According to the National Park Service, parks would remain "as accessible as possible" but some services could be limited, including visitor centers, restrooms and information kiosks. 

NPS warns that trash could also pile up while employees are furloughed. 

Air travel

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has warned about the impact of a government shutdown on air travel. While airports would remain open and Transportation Security Administration officers would be considered essential, there is concern that employees would not show up to work since they aren't being paid. A similar situation played out during a 35-day government shutdown in 2018 and 2019. 

Buttigieg has also warned that there would be delays in the training of newly hired air traffic controllers. 

Food insecurity

The shutdown could have a major impact on mothers and their children. The Biden administration warned that the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC, would likely run out of funding. 

"With a shutdown, what we would see across the United States is a denial of those benefits and opportunities," Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak said. "In some cases, it would be literally within a matter of days after the shutdown."

Vilsak added that more than 50,000 of the furloughed workers would be from the Department of Agriculture, which provides farmers with loans and maintains 195 million acres of national forests and grasslands.

Museum and zoo closures

A government shutdown would mean the closure of the National Zoo and Smithsonian museums.

The timing couldn't be worse for fans of pandas. Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and Xiao Qi Ji are scheduled to be sent to China as part of an agreement with China Wildlife Conservation Association. The zoo is currently having farewell celebrations ahead of their departure in December. 

While a shutdown would mean the zoo would be closed to the public, the National Zoo insists the animals will still be fed and cared for during that time. 

"A shutdown will not affect our commitment to the safety of our staff and standard of excellence in animal care," the zoo said in a statement. 

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