Wednesday, April 06, 2011

What Would a Government Shutdown Look Like?

With the deadline for reaching an agreement just days away, it raises the question: What would a shutdown look like today? For those hoping to explore a national park or museum, those sites may be closed. Veterans could see their services curtailed. And, anyone who submits an application for a passport could find themselves having to postpone whatever foreign travel they were hoping to do this spring.

A Congressional Research Service Report, published in 2001, lists some of the consequences of those most recent shutdowns:

  • Over 1,000,000 federal employees were sent home during the combined 1995-96 shutdowns. Major federal work force furloughs occurred in of the Department of Education, the Department of Veteran Affairs, Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Social Security Administration, to name a few.
  • National museums and monuments closed down, resulting in an estimated loss of 2 million visitors.
  • 368 National Park Service sites also closed, losing 7 million visitors and around $14.2 million per day in tourism revenue.
  • 20,000-30,000 foreign visa applications per day went unprocessed, as did an estimated total of 200,000 U.S. passport applications.

For More information see Sarah Svoboda's article at PBS Newshour

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