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Wednesday
Apr062011

What a Government Shutdown Might Look Like

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- No one in Washington is saying what exactly a government shutdown would entail if lawmakers can't reach a deal before Friday on the 2011 fiscal budget, or at least come up with another continuing resolution so things can operate for another week while they keep negotiating.

But if the last shutdown -- which spanned 21 days from 1995 into 1996 -- is any guide, here's what might happen initially:

1. No clean-up of toxic waste at Superfund sites.

2. Nobody answering hotlines at the National Institutes of Health.

3. No work on delinquent child-support or bankruptcy cases.

4. No national parks and federal tourist destinations open for business.  These shutdowns would also affect restaurants, hotels and airlines that depend on visitors to these sites.

5. No one to process payments to recipients of Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare electronically or take new enrollments.

6. Delayed benefits decisions for veterans.

7. No one to process passport and visa applications.

8. Interrupted waste disposal at the National Zoo.

9. Locked doors at the Library of Congress and presidential libraries.

10. Delayed clinical trials and decisions on regulating new drugs and devices related to public health and safety.

Of course, workers responsible for these agencies and programs would also be furloughed during a shutdown, meaning they aren't getting paid.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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