We are now one week away from a possible federal government shutdown. Democrats and Republicans are still unable to agree on a budget for the next year, with the biggest divide over whether to include any funding for President Obama's Affordable Care Act. But both sides are hoping to reach a deal before the deadline. Michael Scotto has the story.
UNITED STATES -- National parks would shut down. Hundreds of thousands of government workers likely furloughed. Passport offices closed. If Republicans and Democrats don't reach an agreement by 11:59 next Monday night, every government agency will feel the hit.
"There will be limitations at every federal agency. There will be challenges in every federal program," said John Hudak of the Brookings Institution.
Social Security checks would still go out. Mail would still be delivered and essential services at agencies like the Department of Defense would continue, but workers there wouldn't get paid, at least not immediately. They would have to come to work and then wait for the government to reopen before getting their paychecks.
The country finds itself on the brink of a government shutdown because of another showdown over Obamacare. House Republicans last week passed a spending bill that would defund the President's health care law, a move Democrats have vowed to block.
Ironically, though, Obamacare would escape a shutdown unscathed, according to opponents of the law.
"If the goal of a shutdown is to delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, then a shutdown would fail," said Chris Holt of American Action Forum.
That's because the law's funding is mandatory. But other opponents say it's possible health care reform would face additional hiccups.
"Some portions of Obamacare would not continue. Cost sharing subsidies
would not go forward. Some elements of the exchanges, it's unclear whether or not the Administration would have the authority or the funding to implement them," said Chris Jacobs of the Heritage Foundation.
Regardless of what happens to the law, a government shutdown would be an inconvenience for the public, not to mention the economy, which risks getting knocked down, just as it's trying to get up.