Nationwide, about 800,000 federal employees could be furloughed starting Tuesday if the House and Senate are unable to agree on a budget.
The government last shut down due to a budget impasse from Nov. 13 – 19, 1995, and again from Dec. 15, 1995 to Jan. 6, 1996.
What will change
- You'll likely see a noticeable reduction in rush-hour traffic in the Washington metro area starting Tuesday.
- Smithsonian museums would be closed to the public; only employees responsible for animals at the zoo and other essential functions would remain on duty.
- National parks would close to the public.
- Visa and passport applications will still be processed, unlike in previous shutdowns. The State Department says it will continue operations as long as it has sufficient funds to do so.
- Calls to the IRS will go unanswered.
In the 1995 and 1996 shutdowns, many federal employees were paid retroactively for the days they were furloughed. Whether that will happen this year remains to be seen, NPR reported.