How Would a Government Shutdown Affect Your Family?Joslyn Gray
The deadline for Congress to approve a national budget is midnight tonight, but an agreement doesn’t appear to be in sight, reports ABC News. If the budget is not approved, many segments of our federal government will stop functioning, starting tomorrow.
Those who would be immediately, directly impacted include the “non-essential” government employees and civilian defense personnel who would be furloughed without pay, and the 1.3 million military troops who would continue working, but whose paychecks would be delayed.
Having more than 2 million American suddenly without pay would also directly impact a huge number of businesses, particularly small businesses that surround military bases.
Social Security checks will still be issued, and the US Postal Service will still deliver them. But a shutdown would still impact families in a host of ways.
Let’s take a look at the numbers, and how families may be affected by a shutdown:
800,000: number of “non-essential” government workers who will be told not to show up for work and who will not get paid. (ABC News)
1.3 million: number of active duty military troops who are considered essential and will have to report to work, but will likely not receive a paycheck until Congress reaches an agreement. Lack of pay will trickle down to affect businesses that surround military bases. (ABC News)
400,000: number of civilian defense personnel who will be told not to report to work. (USA Today)
32,000: number of employees of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services who will likely be furloughed. Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries will still be covered, but other health services would be significantly impacted: Routine food safety inspections would be discontinued, and the CDC would be severely limited in its ability to monitor disease outbreaks. (ABC News /HHS)
7 million: number of infants and children who will not receive supplemental nutrition, health care referrals, and nutrition education under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children program (WIC) during a government shut down. SNAP, or food stamp, benefits will continue, as would school lunches. Some WIC funds may be available from individual states. (NBC News/USDA)
16: Number of Head Start programs (out of about 1,600 nationally) that could close right away, because their grants are due to be renewed October 1. If the shut down continues, more and more Head Start programs would close. (NBC News)
59: Number of National Parks in the U.S. National Park Service, all of which would be closed during a shut down. National monuments and national museums such as the Smithsonian would also be closed. (ABC News /NPS)
3.7: Percent the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock market index fell during the 1995-96 government shutdown. (USA Today)
10: Number of days that Federal courts could continue to run during a shutdown before they start to run out of operating money. Cases would continue to be heard, but probably at a delayed pace due to furloughs. (The Guardian)
30: Percent of all U.S. home mortgages that are guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). No new FHA loans would be underwritten or approved during a shutdown, and action on government-backed loans to small businesses would be suspended. (NBC News)
3.6 million: Number of veterans who receive compensation and pension checks from the Veterans’ Administration. The VA says it will run out of money in late October, if a shut down continued that long. (USA Today)
2 billion: Amount, in dollars, that a government shut down would likely cost taxpayers, based on contingency planning, back pay, and lost fees. (ABC News)
432: number of members of the U.S. House of Representatives (three positions are currently vacant), all of whom would still get paid during a shut down. (ABC News)
100: number of members of the U.S. Senate, all of whom will still get paid during a shut down. (ABC News)
(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
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