Many are wondering who and what gets affected if the government does shut down.
Federal employees deemed non-essential—in other words, those whose jobs don’t involve keeping the nation safe and operational—will be furloughed. Federal employees who do work through the shutdown will not be paid until the government is up and running again. The decision as to who is excepted in the shutdown and who is furloughed is decided by employers. Border patrol agents and TSA employees will continue working.
The government shutdown could impact more than 53,000 federal employees in Colorado.
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has pledged to give up his salary if the government shuts down, and sent a letter to his fellow senators Thursday to do the same. Similar legislation asking those in Congress to give up their salaries in a shutdown previously failed.
Social Security recipients would largely remain unaffected by a shutdown. Medicare and Medicaid checks would also still go out, but new applications and claims will not be processed.
The IRS would have to suspend tax audits, but the April tax deadline will remain unchanged. The paper processing of tax refunds would also be halted during the shutdown.
Military operations will not stop, but pay will—in the case of a government shutdown, troops will not get paid until the government reopens. If the government does shut down after midnight Friday, the next paycheck troops receive would only include one week’s pay versus two, due to the shutdown occurring in the middle of a pay cycle.
Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn said that lawmakers need to make sure troops get paid so that service members don't have to worry about their families back home.
Veterans will still get benefits, as the money to fund VA services is set aside a year in advance.
Even recreational activities will be impacted by a shutdown—national parks and museums will close.
Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall reportedly wrote House Speaker John Boehner Wednesday, urging him to avoid a shutdown as it might hamper economic recovery. Fifteen moderate Democrats, including Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, signed the letter.
In speaking out about the prospect of the looming shutdown, President Obama aid that there is "no reason why we should not get an agreement," and has said that the prospect of a shutdown, particularly "because of politics," is "inexcusable."
Boehner has also expressed the desire to avoid a shutdown, saying that while he was "not going to allow the White House and Senate to put us between two bad options," in budget agreements, his goal is to keep the government open.