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HomeLatest NewsImpacted by government shutdown: NPR's analysis on affected groups.

Impacted by government shutdown: NPR’s analysis on affected groups.


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Lawmakers are approaching a potential government shutdown as federal government funding is set to run out on September 30. The last time the federal government faced a shutdown was in 2018, when it lasted for 35 days. If the funding is not restored, federal agencies will have no choice but to furlough hundreds of thousands of workers without pay. The impact of a shutdown will be felt across the country, with services, programs, and pay being paused. However, certain services, such as the FDA’s activities related to imminent threats to human life and the issuance of Social Security checks, will continue. Veterans Affairs facilities and air traffic and airport personnel will also remain open, although employees may choose to call in sick if they are not being paid. Congress will continue to operate without pay as well, including the staff that keeps the Capitol running.

The potential government shutdown will have various effects on federal employees and programs. It is estimated that 2.1 million civilian federal workers could see delayed paychecks, while roughly 4 million federal contract workers may receive no paycheck. Social services such as the Supplemental Food Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Women Infants and Children (WIC) programs could be paused, affecting millions of individuals who rely on these programs. Head Start, which supports early education, and Meals on Wheels, which provides food to the elderly, could also be interrupted. National parks may need to close their visitor centers, campgrounds, research facilities, and museums, impacting events and attractions. While health care services should continue uninterrupted, community health centers that rely on federal grants may experience funding interruptions. A shutdown would also affect federal health agencies and could lead to furloughs for a significant portion of their staff. Service members would continue to work without pay, potentially disrupting national security efforts, and military commissaries would stay open for a limited time without appropriations.

If a government shutdown occurs, federal agencies would face funding shortages, impacting law enforcement efforts. Federal agencies would be unable to participate in federal-state-local task forces, which work on investigations related to human trafficking, terrorism, and drug violations. This lack of funding would hamper the ability to address these crucial issues effectively. As the potential shutdown approaches, it remains unclear whether a deal will be reached to avoid this outcome.

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