Posted: Sep 30, 2013 7:41 PM by Alex Labat
Updated: Oct 8, 2013 4:41 PM
It's been 17 years since the federal government last faced a partial shutdown because of spending disagreements between the president and Congress.
But if a budget isn't agreed upon by midnight, the federal government would essentially come to a standstill.
While some government entities like mail and air travel would not be affected, others could be impacted.
National parks would likely close, and visitors using park facilities would be given 48 hours to make other arrangements.
Also, the FDA would likely suspend routine safety inspections, while still handling high-risk calls and situations.
Americans would still have to pay and file their taxes, but the IRS would probably suspend all audits.
You'll be out of luck if you have any questions, however, as taxpayer services like toll-free helplines could be shut off.
As KATC's Alex Labat reports, while some say the standstill shouldn't last long, others say they can't afford for the government to shut down.
The clock is ticking.
At midnight Monday night, the federal government will come to a haul if Congress and the president can't reach common ground.
The disagreement stems from the Affordable Healthcare Act.
While the Republican House refuses to fund "Obamacare", the Democratically controlled Senate insists the program be fully funded.
"The Senate will send the House a bill that is probably the same, with maybe a tweak, and says,"Okay, as a concession, we will eliminate the tax on medical devices." Republicans are more likely than not to rally around that and get that passed", says UL Political Science Professor Dr. Ryan Teten.
If the shutdown does happen, one of the government entities affected will be the Department of Veterans Affairs.
While the V.A. has a proposed budget of $150 billion next year, if funding disappears this year, veterans who depend on compensation and pension checks could see those disappear too. According to a VA spokesman in Alexandria, VBA payments will continue through late October.
"They're playing games in Washington, and there's nothing that you can say or do that will do anything. Unless you get a consensus among the people to do something to get them out of there", says Winston Copell.
He and Bennie Schovajasa are both veterans with the VFW in New Iberia, who say they've waited decades for the government to provide them with a proper V.A. clinic, and today's shutdown just means more of the same.
Schovajasa says, "The clinic in Lafayette was the same then as it is today. And they've been talking, and talking, and talking, and talking and no one has done anything yet.
While the shutdown means veterans and other federal employees might feel the sting of the shutdown, Teten says the sting shouldn't last long. He says, "I don't see a shutdown lasting very long at all because there's only a certain amount of time that Americans will put up with not getting paid. Principle only stand for a certain amount of time until I can't put food on the table for my kids."
A list of other areas and entities that might be affected can be found here.