1 Countdown to US default looms
of US government operations would drag the world’s biggest economy
closer to bankruptcy, something unprecedented in US history. If no
budget deal is done, the US would bump up against their “debt ceiling”
and run out of money by October 17. By then, the US government would
have less than $30 billion cash on hand, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew
2 Hundreds of thousands of federal employees on furlough
A one-time layoff of 800,000 people working for the US government would
erode the earlier projected economic growth of 2.5 percent for the
fourth quarter of 2013 by about 0.32 percentage points, according to a
forecast by Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Moody's
Analytics. That projection assumes a two-week shutdown. If it drags into
a whole month, the loss of GDP would rise to 1.4 percentage points.
3 Troops’ paychecks stopped
million military active-duty personnel would keep on working, but with
their paychecks delayed. Approval for troops’ paychecks is dependent on
Obama’s proposed 2014 federal budget being passed by Congress.
4 Women and children’s nutrition program threatened
women and new moms who are poor and facing “nutrition risk” won’t be
able to buy healthy food, as a looming shutdown would put bracers on the
$6 billion Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and
5 $85 billion in cuts to federal programs
a shutdown was last threatened in March 2013, it would have resulted in
$85 billion in automatic cuts in spending on federal programs – many
aimed at alleviating social hardship. The cuts, known as sequestration,
would affect grants to local organizations and funds that keep those
6 Housing loans halted
US federal programs
that provide for about 30 percent of all new loans in the housing
market – a backbone of the country’s economy – will be shut down.
Government funding of new businesses will also be halted, as well as
workplace health and safety inspections.
7 Trade talks scuppered?
US plans to have a
Pacific trade deal, the Trans Pacific Partnership, signed with the US’s
Asian partners could stall, as Obama may decide not to travel to this
weekend’s Bali, Indonesia meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation nations. While he could still go if no deal is done by then,
it could be a gift for his Republican opponents if Obama was seen to be
jetting off to a tropical paradise at a time when federal employees
were sent home without pay.
8 Visa delays likely
Thousands of Americans may not be able to get passports for foreign
travel, and tourists travelling to the US will likely face delays in
visa processing. During the last government shutdown in 1996-97, some
20,000-30,000 applications remained unprocessed daily.
9 Space program on hold
NASA will be hit the most, as the agency will need to furlough about 97
percent of its employees, though it will continue to keep workers at
Mission Control in Houston and elsewhere to support the International
Space Station, where the two NASA astronauts currently on board, Michael
Hopkins and Karen Nyberg, may not know whether they have jobs to come
10 National parks, museums and zoos would close to the public
museums, art galleries and zoos across the country would keep their
doors closed Tuesday, leaving thousands of employees furloughed and
visitors unable to see attractions. US national parks, from Yosemite to
the Shenandoahs, as well as Washington’s National Mall, Lincoln Memorial
and Constitution Gardens, would also be closed.