What you need to know if the government shuts down

Government shutdown: Will it affect you?

A possible government shutdown is looming. What does that mean and how would it affect you?

President Trump threatened over the weekend to let the government shut down if lawmakers cannot agree on certain immigration policies, including funding the border wall, which could affect both the economy and workers’ pay.

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Lawmakers passed a spending bill earlier this year that funds the government through September. The government shut down for about three days in January over disagreements related to immigration policies.

Here’s a look at who would be affected, and how, if the government were to shut down again.

What is closed?

If the government shuts down most federal operations come to a halt because the government loses its authority to spend money. The services that continue are those that are essential to national security and health. For example, veterans’ hospitals usually remain open.

The Postal Service will continue delivering mail and Social Security beneficiaries will continue receiving checks.

National parks, national monuments, museums, application and visa processing centers are all generally closed.

All workers who are employed at places that are shut down will be furloughed.

It’s costly

The government shutdown in 2013, which lasted 16 days, cost the U.S. an estimated $24 billion, according to Standard & Poor’s. That breaks down to about $1.5 billion per day. The ratings agency also estimated at the time that it had a significant impact on GDP during the quarter in which it occurred.

Money is lost in productivity, government services and from Americans being unable to visit parks, museums, etc. Money can also be lost in the form of delayed contracts.

Who doesn’t get paid?

Furloughed workers don’t get paid when the government is shut down, though they generally receive back pay once things are up and running again. The 2013 government shutdown impacted about 850,000 federal employees, or 40% of the government’s civilian workforce.

Even the military is affected. While active duty members and all critical support staff are required to work, they do not get paid during a government shutdown.

Meanwhile, members of Congress will continue getting paid because they are not subject to furlough. However, some choose to forego their paychecks. It is also forbidden for the president to be denied a salary during any time in office. While Trump has said he would not take a salary during his tenure, he does donate it.

What do you think?

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