Impacts of a Shutdown on You



Congress has three days to prevent a government shutdown that would impact millions of Americans. If a shutdown occurs, federal workers would be furloughed without pay, and many services such as funding for WIC, Head Start preschool programs, food stamps, and federal student grants would be delayed or stopped. The possibility of a shutdown is causing tension and blame between the Republican and Democratic parties, with each accusing the other of pushing for partisan bills and not cooperating to pass a stopgap measure.

Countdown to a government shutdown: what does it mean for Americans?

With only three days to go, Congress is racing against the clock to avoid a government shutdown that could affect millions of Americans. As of now, progress seems slow in averting a crisis set to impact homes across the country from Oct. 1.

While not as extensive as the debt ceiling threat in late May, a shutdown would severely affect Americans relying on government assistance, from newborns who depend on WIC for infant formula, children who require nutrition assistance, low-income families using Head Start programs, and college students relying on federal grants to pay for their education.

Government shutdown: how would it affect you?

A government shutdown would lead to federal workers being furloughed without pay. While “essential” federal workers, like those in the post office or Federal Aviation Administration, would work without pay, they would receive backpay once a shutdown ends. However, numerous subcontractors would be out of work with no compensation.

The impact would stretch beyond federal workers, affecting millions of homes across America. For instance, funding for WIC would stop immediately, children from low-income families would lose access to Head Start preschool programs, and college students could see delays in their student loans.

Government shutdown: when would it start and how long could it last?

If lawmakers are unable to pass a federal budget or stopgap measure by Sept. 30, a government shutdown would start on Oct. 1. A temporary measure known as a continuing resolution could prevent this by extending government funding. The duration of the shutdown would depend on when a new appropriations plan is passed by both the House and Senate and then signed by the President.

Government shutdown: what would it mean for food assistance programs?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, would continue for at least October, according to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. However, if the shutdown goes beyond that, SNAP could face severe consequences. Meanwhile, funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, would stop immediately upon the shutdown.

Air travel during a government shutdown

Essential services like air traffic control and TSA agents would continue working, albeit without pay, during a government shutdown, making air travel relatively unaffected. However, there might be some longer wait times and flight delays for travelers due to potential staffing gaps.

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