A look at how some services would be affected if Congress fails to reach an agreement averting a government shutdown at midnight today:
Air travel: Federal air- traffic controllers would remain on the job and airport screeners would keep funneling passengers through security checkpoints.
Benefit payments: Social Security and Medicare benefits would keep coming, but there could be delays in processing new disability applications. Unemployment benefits would still go out.
Mail: Deliveries would continue as usual because the U.S. Postal Service receives no tax dollars for day-to-day operations.
Recreation: All national parks would be closed, as would the Smithsonian museums, including the National Zoo in Washington.
Food safety: The Food and Drug Administration would handle high-risk recalls and suspend most routine safety inspections.
Head Start: A small number of Head Start programs, about 20 out of 1,600 nationally, would feel the impact right away. The federal Administration for Children and Families says grants expiring about Oct. 1 would not be renewed.
Food assistance: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, could shut down. School lunches and breakfasts would continue to be served, and food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, would continue to be distributed. But several smaller feeding programs would not have the money to operate.
Military: The military’s 1.4 million active-duty personnel would stay on duty, but their paychecks would be delayed. About half of the Defense Department’s civilian employees would be furloughed.
Veterans services: Most services offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs will continue because lawmakers approve money one year in advance for the VA’s health programs.
Source: Associated Press