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Will the US Government Shut Down October 1?

Written by on September 23, 2023

According to the Associated Press (AP)–The White House is preparing Friday to direct federal agencies to get ready for a shutdown after House Republicans left town for the weekend with no viable plan to keep the government funded and avert politically and economically costly disruption of federal services.

In the event of a shutdown, many government operations would come to a halt, but some services deemed “essential” would continue.

Federal agencies have contingency plans that serve as a roadmap for what will continue and what will stop. Government operations and services that continue during a shutdown are activities deemed necessary to protect public safety and national security or considered critical for other reasons. Examples of services that have continued during past shutdowns include border protection, federal law enforcement and air traffic control.

Federal employees whose work is deemed “non-essential” would be put on furlough, which means that they would not work and would not receive pay during the shutdown. Employees whose jobs are deemed “essential” would continue to work, but they too would not be paid during the shutdown.

Once a shutdown is over, federal employees who were required to work and those who were furloughed will receive backpay.

In the past, backpay for furloughed employees was not guaranteed, though Congress could and did act to ensure those workers were compensated for lost wages once a shutdown ended. Now, however, backpay for furloughed workers is automatically guaranteed as a result of legislation led by Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, that was enacted in 2019. Employees deemed “essential” and required to work were already guaranteed backpay after a shutdown prior to the passage of that legislation.

And federal employees aren’t the only ones who can feel the effects of a shutdown.

During past shutdowns, national parks have become a major focal point of attention. Although National Park Service sites across the country have been closed during previous government shutdowns, many remained open but severely understaffed under the Trump administration during a shutdown in 2019. Some park sites operated for weeks without park service-provided visitor services such as restrooms, trash collection, facilities or road maintenance. (-CNN)

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