What gets cut in a shutdown?


With the government less than 24 hours away from what appears to be an inevitable shutdown, Americans are waking up and asking: what will change on Tuesday if the feds close up shop? Will it be worse than the 1995 shutdown?

“This shutdown will be worse than a lot of previous shutdowns because Congress has not passed a single appropriation bill, which means every department has to put all of its non-essential workers on furlough,” Morning Joe economic analyst Steve Rattner said. “Even back in ‘95 when we had the last shutdown a number of appropriations bills had been passed and made the shutdown a little less effective or managing is a better word.”

What gets cut

Thousands of federal employees deemed non-essential—800,000—will be placed on immediate, unpaid leave.

Nearly half, 400,000, are Department of Defense employees who have already faced sequestration-related furloughs.

The rest of the Department of Defense employees and active military members will be exempted from furlough, but won’t get their paychecks until Congress settles on a spending deal.

“We would also be required to do some other bad things to our people,” Department of Defense Comptroller Bob Hale said on Friday according to NBC News, explaining that death benefits won’t be able to be paid immediately to those who die in active duty during a shutdown. Training programs would stop and many family programs run by the military will be temporarily shuttered.

All national parks will shut down. During the 1995 shutdown, 9 million tourists were turned away from visiting sites run by the National Parks, USA Today reports.

Passport and visa applications may not processed depending on the location, federal jurors won’t be paid, gun seller applications won’t be read, and student loan applications won’t be processed.

 What would keep working

Congress will still be paid, the mail will still run, and prisons will continue to function. Social Security and Medicare will continue to expend funds, as much of their funding is automatic, and air travel will continue to function, according to NBC News.