CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Is the U.S. government on the verge of shutting down? What exactly does that mean anyway?
That's the first story we're explaining today on CNN 10.
The U.S. government has a budget. It lays out what the government plans to spend on various programs and if Congress cannot agree on what that budget should be, a government shutdown is possible.
So, what would actually happen?
Nothing for services that are considered essential. Air traffic control would continue operating. Government medical workers would stay on the job, along with border patrol officers. Security and defense would stay in place, though troops in the military might not get their paychecks until the government starts running again, though they would get back pay when it did.
Civilian government employees could be sent home without pay.
What could actually shut down?
National parks, the Smithsonian museums, the Education Department, though schools would stay open. Other government departments, including the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, they could all close.
Has the government shut down before?
Yes, nearly 20 times in the past 40 years.
When it would happen this time around?
Possibly on Friday night. The government's budget runs 12 months from October 1st through the following September 30th. But when lawmakers couldn't agree on the budget last fall, they started passing short term spending deals, which kept the government funded temporarily. The current one of those expires Friday at midnight.
So, what are the hang-ups on a longer term budget?
Well, Democrats insist the budget should contain a solution for young immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children. Republicans insist the budget should contain more money for border security. And the White House insists on funding for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
Experts say that most Republicans and most Democrats do not want the government to shut down, and each side blames the other for the holdup.
But if they can't reach an agreement on either a full budget or another temporary one to delay a shutdown, one could happen starting this weekend.
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