How would a shutdown affect you? How long will it last?

WASHINGTON−The country is careening towards a shutdown, and Congress so far does not have a plan to stop it.

Lawmakers have not passed annual spending bills to fund the federal government or a temporary measure that would give them more time to hash out a deal.

Infighting among House Republicans has practically paralyzed the chamber from moving anything meaningful to stop a shutdown. The bills that have passed include more political theater, such as a $1 salary for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, than line items able to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The Senate was on track to vote Saturday on a continuing resolution, a temporary funding plan that would allow lawmakers to work on spending bills without a shutdown until at least Nov. 17. But now there are rumblings in that chamber of growing support for a new plan from Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., that would prove an extension for two weeks instead.

House and Senate lawmakers continue to work at the Capitol to avert the shutdown on track to begin at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.

Follow these live updates for details on what’s going on, why it’s happening and what it means for you.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 29: U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) after he took questions from the media after a closed door meeting at the US Capitol on September 29, 2023 in Washington, DC. The House of Representatives failed to pass a temporary funding bill to avert a government shutdown, with 21 Republicans joining Democrats in defiance of U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

What causes a government shutdown?

A government shutdown takes place when Congress is unable to pass a dozen annual spending bills that funnel money to government programs and agencies.

A shutdown is likely when both chambers in Congress − the House and Senate − can’t come to an agreement on how much money to allocate to certain agencies or agree on certain spending provisions, putting federal agencies at risk. A partial government shutdown can occur if Congress is able to pass any of the 12 individual spending bills.

When both chambers can’t reach a compromise, funding levels expire and federal agencies must cease all non-essential function.

−Rachel Looker

What is the deadline for the government shutdown?

The U.S. government will shut down at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 1 if lawmakers don’t pass a continuing resolution or a federal budget by Sept. 30.

The continuing resolution, a stopgap measure that would temporarily fund the government while lawmakers work to pass a comprehensive budget, would prevent a shutdown from occurring on Oct. 1.

−Sudiksha Kochi

Will Social Security be paid during a government shutdown?

Social Security recipients will continue to receive checks in the event of a government shutdown and Medicare benefits will not be interrupted.

However, employees in the Social Security Administration are likely to be furloughed and government food assistance benefits could see delay.

A few services that are not directly related to Social Security payment benefits and direct-service operations would be temporarily suspended.

− Marina Pitofsky and Sudiksha Kochi

Will national parks close if there is a government shutdown?

The Biden administration said Friday it will be forced to close the majority of national parks if the government shuts down at the end of the week resulting in funding to lapse.

“Gates will be locked, visitor centers will be closed, and thousands of park rangers will be furloughed” at national parks across the country, the Interior Department said in a statement. The public will be encouraged not to visit park sites during a shutdown.

The National Mall in Washington, Washington Monument and other park sites that are “physically accessible” to the public will remain accessible but staffing will vary site to site and not be guaranteed.

The National Park System has 425 individual sites that includes 63 national parks made up of iconic landmarks like the Grand Canyon National Park, Everglades National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.

-Joey Garrison

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Government shutdown live updates: How government shutdown affects you

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