So exactly what would happen if there is a government shutdown in 2011? If it does actually happen, the following are 16 things you will need to know....
#1 Hundreds of thousands of "non-essential" federal workers will be told to stay home during a government shutdown.
#2 Those in the military will not receive paychecks during a government shutdown but they will be required to keep performing their duties.
#3 The Obama administration is anticipating "significantly lower staffing levels" at the White House if a shutdown happens.
#4 Barack Obama will continue to be paid during a government shutdown.
#5 Congress will also be paid and will continue to operate at close to normal levels during a government shutdown.
#6 The Federal Reserve will continue to operate normally during a government shutdown. The Federal Reserve is not part of the U.S. government.
#7 In all probability, all government employees will eventually receive any pay that is missed during a government shutdown. During the 5 day U.S. government shutdown back in 1995, approximately 800,000 "non-essential" government employees were told not to come in to work. But eventually they all got paid retroactively anyway.
#8 During a government shutdown, the Department of Homeland Security will suspend operation of its e-Verify system. Employers will be unable to verify the immigration status of job applicants and that could have a substantial negative impact on hiring.
#9 The processing of small business loans and FHA mortgages will be delayed during a government shutdown.
#10 The U.S. Postal Service will not be affected by a government shutdown. You will continue to get your mail.
#11 According to the Social Security Administration, everyone that is currently receiving Social Security benefits will continue to receive those benefitsduring a shutdown. New applications will be delayed however.
#12 Medicare payments will continue during a government shutdown, but there will be a delay in processing new applications.
#13 During a government shutdown, the processing of paper tax returns by the IRS would be delayed.
#14 If there is a government shutdown, the processing of passport and visa applications could be seriously delayed. This could have a negative impact on the tourism industry.
#15 National parks, museums and tourist attractions will be shut down. According to the Washington Post, "about 500,000 visitors could be turned away this weekend alone from the National Zoo and the major Smithsonian museums on the Mall".
#16 The annual Cherry Blossom Festival parade in Washington D.C. that is scheduled for this weekend would be cancelled.