US Government Shutdown Would Affect Foreigners, Americans Alike
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said American troops serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the globe would have a temporary halt in their pay.
In addition, as many as 800,000 of the 1.9 million federal civilian workers deemed as non-essential could be told to stay away from their jobs.
Tourists would find that national parks and attractions throughout the country have been shut down, including iconic sites like the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument and national parks with breath-taking ocean and mountain vistas. Foreigners could encounter delays in seeking visas for travel to the U.S.
One popular Spring event in Washington, the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade scheduled for Saturday, would be called off if President Barack Obama and congressional leaders do not reach agreement to keep the government running after Friday, when funding runs out. It would be the government's first partial shutdown in 15 years.
Washington's art, history and cultural museums along the National Mall that annually attract millions of visitors would be closed, as well. And trash could be piling up alongside Washington's streets because the city government is considered a federal agency. Without a budget agreement, many city workers would be furloughed as well, including trash haulers.
Throughout the U.S., residents would be affected in a variety of ways. Retirees would still get their monthly government-issued pensions, but applications for new benefits could be delayed. The government says tax refunds will be delayed for those who have filed their annual tax returns on paper, rather than electronically.
The government also does not plan to insure new housing loans during a shutdown. New loans for small businesses also would be delayed.
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