Factbox: What is the Impact of the US Government Shutdown?

The last shutdown, in October 2013, lasted more than two weeks and more than 800,000 federal employees were placed on unpaid leave.

An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington, June 15, 2005. Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed/File Photo

US lawmakers struggled on Sunday to reach a breakthrough during the second day of a government shutdown.

If Republicans and Democrats are unable to resolve their differences, federal agencies could remain partially closed when the work week begins on Monday.

During shutdowns, non-essential government employees are furloughed, or placed on temporary unpaid leave. Workers deemed essential, including those dealing with public safety and national security, keep working.

The last shutdown, in October 2013, lasted more than two weeks and more than 800,000 federal employees were furloughed. There is no official tally of how many would be off work this time. Here are some details about the potential impacts of the shutdown on government agencies:

Military: The defense department says a shutdown would not affect the US military’s war in Afghanistan or its operations against Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria. All 1.3 million military personnel on active duty would remain on normal duty status. Civilian personnel in non-essential operations would be furloughed. Defense secretary Jim Mattis said a sustained funding impasse would cause ships to go without maintenance and aircraft to be grounded.

Justice: The justice department has many essential workers. Under its shutdown contingency plan, about 95,000 of its almost 115,000 staff would keep working.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team investigating whether Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia will also continue to work.

Financial oversight: The stock market-policing Securities and Exchange Commission said it will remain open and fully staffed for a limited number of days, adding that its shutdown plan was focused “on the market integrity and investor protection components of our mission.”

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, meanwhile, said it would have to furlough 95% of employees immediately. An agency spokeswoman said the derivatives regulator could, however, call in additional staff in the event of a financial market emergency.

White House: More than 1,000 of the 1,715 White House staff would be furloughed, the Trump administration said. The president would be provided with enough support to carry out his constitutional duties, including staff needed for a planned trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, administration officials said. However, the decision to go to Davos is now being assessed “day to day” the White House budget director said on Saturday.

National Parks: National parks remain accessible while still following all applicable laws and procedures, according to a spokesperson. Open roads will remain accessible and back country toilets will also remain open. However, services requiring staffing, such as public information and full service restrooms, will not operate. Some lodging, restaurants, and other services may be available when provided by concessions or other entities.

Washington Tourist Sights: The Trump administration does not plan to barricade open-air monuments this time, officials said. The Smithsonian has said its museums could remain open through Monday.

Taxes: In a contingency plan released by the treasury department, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) expects to keep just over 35,000 employees, or about 43.5% of its workforce, on the job during the shutdown.

That significant cut to staffing could have an impact as the tax season kicks into high gear, potentially delaying refunds to tax payers or making it more difficult for them to reach the IRS with questions about their returns.

Mail delivery: Deliveries would continue as usual because the US Postal Service receives no tax dollars for day-to-day operations.

Travel: Airline passengers are not expected to feel much impact. The Transportation Security Administration plans to have 53,865 of its 58,295 employees ready to work during the shutdown, said the Department of Homeland Security. Air traffic control will not be affected, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Courts: The Administrative Office of the US Courts has said federal courts, including the Supreme Court, could continue to operate normally for about three weeks without additional funding.

Healthcare: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will continue to process applications for open enrolment, and the medicare programme for the elderly and disabled is expected to continue functioning largely without disruption, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to continue providing “minimal support” during the shutdown. The CDC has said it will continue to respond to influenza outbreaks, including analysing the data being reported by states.

Social Security: Social Security and disability checks are expected to be issued during the shutdown and applications for benefits will still be reviewed. However, the department will cease some activities, such as issuing new or replacement Social Security cards.

Loans: The processing of loans in some cases could be impacted. The Small Business Administration has warned that its website may not be updated, transactions may not be processed, and that its staff will not be able to respond to inquiries until its funding is restored.

Ginnie Mae, a government corporation within the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said on Sunday it will continue to operate, but it will reduce staffing. It expects to make timely payments of principle and interest to investors.

Veterans: Most employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would not be subject to furlough. VA hospitals would remain open and veterans’ benefits would continue, but education assistance and case appeals would be delayed, the department said.

Food inspections: Department of Agriculture food inspectors will continue to stay on the job during the shutdown.

Energy: The Department of Energy said on Friday that since most of its appropriations are for multiple years, employees should report to work as normal during a shutdown until told otherwise. If there was a prolonged lapse in funding a “limited number” of workers may be placed on furlough.