Washington is on the brink of a partial government shutdown, with funding set to expire for several key federal agencies at midnight on Friday and no guarantee that lawmakers can come up with a plan that President Donald Trump will support to extend the rapidly approaching deadline.
For now, it looks like the President is unwilling to back down from his demand for $5 billion for his long-promised border wall. Democrats have made clear that figure is a nonstarter, however, leaving Congress at an impasse over the wall.
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If a shutdown were to take place, it would be limited in scope. That's because lawmakers have already funded roughly 75% of the federal government through September 2019.
But if lawmakers can't strike a deal with the President, there are still a number of government entities that would be affected by a lapse in funding, including:
- The Department of Homeland Security.
- The Justice Department.
- The Interior Department.
- The State Department.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development.
It's not yet clear exactly how a shutdown might play out, but here are some projected impacts, according to a fact sheet released by the Democratic staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee:
- More than 420,000 government workers would be expected to work without pay. Some federal employees would be deemed essential and would continue to work, but their pay would be withheld until the shutdown is over.
- That figure would include more than 41,000 federal law enforcement and correctional officers.
- The vast majority of employees at the Department of Homeland Security would be among those required to work without pay.
- That would include tens of thousands of Customs and Border Protection agents and customs officers.
- It would also include roughly 42,000 employees of the Coast Guard.
- More than 380,000 federal employees would be placed on furlough, according to the fact sheet, meaning they would effectively be put on a leave of absence without pay. Congress could move to order that furloughed employees be paid retroactively after the shutdown is over, but that is not guaranteed.
- That would include the majority of the staff at NASA, the National Park Service and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- Among those expected to be placed on furlough would be roughly 52,000 employees at the Internal Revenue Service.
An administration official told CNN that "If a lapse in appropriations were to take place, a majority of DHS activities would continue. For instance, those protecting our borders with the customs and Border Patrol will continue to do so."
The administration official said, "Additionally, activities that are supported by multi-year funding, such as FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund, will continue operations," referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Jeremy Barnum, a spokesman for the National Park Service, told CNN, "We are not going to speculate on any possible change in government operations. National parks are open and continue to welcome visitors."
"NASA still is evaluating how it would be affected by a lapse of government funding after Dec. 21," Megan Powers, a NASA press secretary, said in an email in response to a request for comment from CNN, adding, "In previous shutdowns, we have maintained personnel to support the International Space Station and its crew, and currently operating space missions, such as satellites, spacecraft, landers, rovers, to ensure they're safe and secure."
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