If the Congress and Donald Trump do not agree on a budget resolution, the United States federal government will shut down on Friday at Midnight. However, both sides are nowhere near an agreement with opposing arguments on illegal immigration fueling much of the impasse. Here are some facts outlining how a shutdown will affect Americans.
If the Republicans and Democrats cannot reach an agreement before the deadline, many federal employees will be sent home on furlough. A professor at the University of Michigan, Marina Whitman, said more than 800,000 could go home without a paycheck. However, as dramatic as a federal government shut down looks, it is not quite as bad as most politicians would lead Americans to believe.
First of all, people who are worried that they will stop receiving their social security checks should stop worrying right now. The law mandates that social security recipients receive their checks. During a shutdown, the Treasury Department will use special funds set aside for events such as this. Secondly, Medicare recipients will continue to have access to all of their benefits that cover medical expenses.
However, there are some pockets of the federal government that could be affected by a shutdown, according to ConsumerReports.org. A person’s ability to obtain general government assistance will become much harder. Programs such as Assistance for Needy Families and programs for home energy assistance could run out of money. Additionally, anyone who needs to sign up for Medicare, Social Security or would like to apply for a government-backed loan may find it takes longer to go through the approval process.
What a shutdown will affect is employees who are deemed “non-essential.” National parks will close and agencies who handle passports will be affected. Without any workers, the State Department will have to temporarily stop taking applications, and foreign nationals can expect processing delays for their travel documents.