Like many other Government Contractors and Government Employees I have great concern over the affects of a government shutdown.  After you tell your Congressional Representatives how you feel we would love to hear how such a government shutdown would affect you.

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Government Shutdown: What to Expect

By Patrick O’Connor

As the reality of a possible government shutdown sets in, Washington Wire looks at what to expect from a temporary closure, including some facts about what happened the last time the government shut down in late-1995 and early-1996.

We will update this list as more information becomes available.

SOCIAL SECURITY: As an entitlement program funded through payroll taxes rather than annual spending bills, Social Security is likely to keep sending out checks, most analysts and government officials believe. But the White House has warned that a shutdown could affect new applicants.

MILITARY OPERATIONS: Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said on Tuesday that Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn III is preparing guidance for the military services and defense agencies in case of a shutdown. “I want to underscore that we would still have the authority and the ability to continue key national security activities, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, operations in Libya, and humanitarian assistance in Japan, to name a few,” Mr. Morrell said at a Tuesday press conference. So far, though, Morrell said no decision has been made yet on how a shutdown would affect military pay.

POSTAL SERVICE: The U.S. Postal Service would see no interruption in service or shutdown of post offices, since it’s funded by customer payments.

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE: IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said that if there is a government shutdown, the tax-return due date will remain April 18. Mr. Shulman encouraged taxpayers to e-file returns, because those are processed automatically and refunds would not be delayed. But he said there would be delays in processing paper returns and providing refunds for paper returns.

AIR TRAFFIC: Air-traffic control continued without interruption in the prior shutdown. Transportation officials would not disclose contingency plans for a future shutdown. Passenger and baggage screening by the Transportation Security Administration would continue in a shutdown, an official said.

BORDER SECURITY: Border security is also listed in government documents as an exempted activity.

VISAS and PASSPORTS: Applications for U.S. passports and for visas to enter the U.S. went unprocessed in the 1995 shutdown, to the frustration of travelers, airlines and travel agents.

NATIONAL PARKS: These were closed during the 1995 shutdown, along with national monuments and museums.

FEDERAL RESERVE: The Federal Reserve, which does not rely on appropriations, would remain open with normal staffing.

TAXES: Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Doug Shulman said that if there is a government shutdown, the tax-return due date will remain April 18. Mr. Shulman encouraged taxpayers to e-file returns, because those are processed automatically and refunds would not be delayed. But he said there would be delays in processing paper returns and providing refunds for paper returns.

GOVERNMENT WORKERS: Union representatives for federal employees estimate that a minimum of 800,000 federal employees would be furloughed if Congress can’t come to an agreement to keep the government running.

FEDERAL WORKER PAY: Rep. Jim Moran (D., Va.) predicts, “There will be no reimbursement” for the time those workers miss because Republicans are so intent on slashing spending and have demonized federal workers. Mr. Moran’s Northern Virginia district is home to 120,000 government employees, and he’s a longtime member of the panel that doles out federal spending.

FEDERAL COURTS: The federal court system would continue running for about 10 working days, using non-appropriated funds such as filing fees, a spokeswoman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts said. If the shutdown lasted longer than two weeks then individual courts would designate “essential employees.”

Judges for federal district courts, appeals courts and Supreme Court justices would be on the job, the spokeswoman said.

Federal public defenders and federal jurors would likely see their pay checks deferred, and some probation officers might be designated as “nonessential.” The spokeswoman said in previous shut downs some judges delayed civil cases and rescheduled appeals court hearings.

A Supreme Court spokeswoman had no immediate information on how the high court might be affected. But during prior government shutdowns, the Supreme Court continued operations with no interruption, she said.

SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION: A federal shutdown would also close the doors at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Zoo beginning Saturday morning. The Smithsonian, which receives 70% of its funding from the U.S. government, stands to lose revenue from museum shops, cafeteria and IMAX theaters. “We’re hoping it doesn’t go on for 21 days,” said spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas, referring to the three-week shutdown in 1995 and 1996. At that time, the Smithsonian dipped into private funds to keep open the Johannes Vermeer exhibit at the National Gallery.

USDA MEAT INSPECTIONS: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters Wednesday that he has not decided yet if he will exempt U.S. Department of Agriculture meat inspectors from a government shutdown.  “We’re going to notify all of our workers at the same time what their status is,” Mr. Vilsack said. He told reporters he is required to “make the determination … of whether people’s jobs are central to the safety of people or property” and only they will remain working in the event of a government shutdown. The American Meat Institute said Wednesday that the 6,200 federally inspected meat packers would stop operations if inspectors are off the job.

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE: IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said that if there is a government shutdown, the tax-return due date will remain April 18. Mr. Shulman encouraged taxpayers to e-file returns, because those are processed automatically and refunds would not be delayed. But he said there would be delays in processing paper returns and providing refunds for paper returns.