WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tensions run high in a sharply divided Congress as disagreements over the government’s annual funding bill loom large. If no consensus is reached by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, September 30, a shutdown of several key U.S. government sectors will commence at the stroke of midnight on October 1.
The potential impact is vast: Federal courts may curtail activities after October 13. National parks could limit services, leaving visitors without amenities like restrooms. Vital science organizations like NOAA and NASA face significant employee furloughs, and the CDC’s ability to oversee critical programs may diminish.
Food and health sectors are also in jeopardy, with potential halts in clinical trials, food-safety inspections, and disruptions to SNAP’s food assistance. Students may see disruptions in loan payments, and low-income families might lose access to the Head Start preschool program. Additionally, the Small Business Administration can’t issue new loans, and the National Labor Relations Board may be unable to mediate labor disputes.
However, there’s a glimmer of hope: the USPS, military, IRS, SSA, Medicare and Medicaid, and U.S. embassies remain unaffected, with the U.S. Postal Service notably being an independent entity, funded through its own sales.