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Government shutdown: Be prepared, not scared!

20 January 2018

Hundreds of thousands of United States government defence workers, park rangers and business regulators could be temporarily out of work as Congress fails to pass a budget before a midnight Friday deadline. Democrats have also demanded increased funding for natural disaster recovery. Or some agencies' appropriations bills may be passed but not others.

The House passed a stopgap spending bill Thursday night that would keep the government funded through February 16.

Here's a look at how the shutdown might affect you and the government services you use.

National parks, unlike in 2013, will actually stay open, but services such as trash collection within those parks would stop.

What parts of the government stopped functioning?

"The American people, the citizens who actually elected us, will be watching", McConnell said. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, saying "Brown would be wise not to hold military funding hostage, but instead support a common-sense compromise to keep the government open". But there may not be enough bodies to prevent delays. That includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the military, air traffic control, TSA workers, food inspectors, Medicare and Social Security workers, veterans' health care workers, FEMA and more.

The mail is still being delivered, Social Security checks are still being processed, the Medicare and Medicaid programs are still running, and veterans' hospitals are still operating.

When did it start and how long did it last?

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Jeff Graham wanted to hike in the Smoky National Park this weekend, but changed his mind with the looming shutdown, deciding instead to visit a state park.

Does the government save any money by shutting down?

During past shutdowns, all workers were furloughed except for security staffers and a few safety-related employees. "If you are considered essential to the federal government, that means you would continue to work".

Social Security is a mandatory entitlement that would not be affected by a government shutdown.

That memo offered broad guidance to the military about how to handle operations in the event of a shutdown.

I'm in the military.

Despite showing up for work, these excepted workers wouldn't get paid unless Congress somehow authorizes more funding. In the meantime, the threat of a government shutdown looms again. NBC12 asked the state health department if there's a plan.

Will I still be able to get a passport?

All EPA employees are expected to report to work next week, regardless of whether there is a shutdown.

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In the past, the park superintendent typically has received an email alerting them of a government shutdown, though sometimes that notice comes in the form of a phone call.

My kid's in Head Start. About 61 percent of the staff of the Centers for Disease Control will be furloughed, according to The Washington Post, and much of the research-focused National Institutes of Health will be shuttered. Missouri's not on that list, but it's hard to know what might happen this year.

One difference from 2013 is that President Donald Trump's administration announced plans to keep national parks open to the public even if there were no park rangers or other employees.

The Smithsonian's NY museums, the Cooper Hewitt design museum and Heye Center, would be closed.

19 Smithsonian museums will be closed.

If the court is a smaller local circuit court, no worries (unless you're the one being sued). The park's main road is not gated, and would remain open. The Department of Homeland Security will likely have to temporarily halt its E-Verify program, a move which will prevent business owners from checking the immigration status of prospective employees.

Passport processing is suspended during shutdowns, but there may be some exceptions for emergencies.

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Government shutdown: Be prepared, not scared!