Storm clouds hang over Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, as the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate stand at an impasse with Congress continuing to struggle over how to fund the government and prevent a possible shutdown. The Democratic-led Senate was ready Friday to approve legislation to keep the U.S. government running, but disputes with the Republican-run lower chamber of Congress ensured that the battle would spill over into the weekend, as a potential shutdown hurtles closer. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
WASHINGTON (AP) - A government shutdown would have far-reaching consequences for some agencies and services, but minimal impact on others.
Federal air traffic controllers would remain on the job and airport screeners would keep funneling passengers through security checkpoints. The State Department would continue processing visas and applications for passports. Social Security and Medicare benefits would keep coming, and unemployment benefits would still go out.
Mail deliveries would continue as usual.
But many other services would be severely curtailed or suspended. All national parks would be closed, as would the Smithsonian museums. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be severely limited in spotting or investigating disease outbreaks, from flu to that mysterious MERS virus.
The military's 1.4 million active-duty personnel would remain on duty, but their paychecks would be delayed.