What is impact of possible government shutdown?

By Cathy Hernandez - Reporter, Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - As a deadline nears, a government shutdown does not mean every federally funded agency, program and service would shut down.

Employees with agencies and departments considered nonessential will be furloughed.

That would include workers with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, and potentially affect people who want to buy or sell guns.

"If they do a shutdown and close that office, we won’t be able to do background checks over the phone. Hopefully the electronic online system will still work," Carl Cunningham said.

BY THE NUMBERS: Who's affected by shutdown

Cunningham owns Everyman Tactical in Humble.

“We’d be losing out on probably $2,000 in revenue a day,” he said.

For a small business, that's a lot.

The military, which is considered essential, would still report for duty. However the troops, including those in combat and employees with the Department of Defense, will potentially not be paid.

The shutdown would also impact national parks, government-funded zoos and museums.

Agencies not impacted include Social Security, air traffic control, the Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Postal Service, meaning people will still get mail.

"If the government shutdown affects those people, then many gun shops who do it on the phone won’t have access to background checks and won’t be able to sell any firearms," Cunningham said.

In past shutdowns, 850,000 federal employees didn’t get paid until it was over.

Members of Congress will continue to receive paychecks because it’s the law.

How government shutdown will have impact on local families and businesses.

Jenny's Bakery sits in the shadows of NASA's Johnson Space Center. The businesses in that area feel the effects of a government shutdown first. If the people who work for the space agency do not get a paycheck -- even temporarily -- businesses feel it immediately.  That income is critical. 

"NASA very important to us, because they order a lot of cake from us," said Jenny Bui, owner of Jenny’s Bui.

About 1,200 miles away from Clear Lake, in Washington, D.C., Senate Republicans worked to build support for a short-term spending bill. They needed 60 senators to move to a vote. They hoped a six-year extension on children's health insurance would help make it happen. But Democrats refused to sign unless there was a fix for DACA, a program protecting undocumented immigrants brought here as children.

"We don't want to shut down this government. We want to solve the problems facing this government and this nation," said Sen. Dick Durbin.

In Houston, where thousands of families continue to recover from Hurricane Harvey, Mayor Sylvester Turner worried a shutdown could mean more delays in help from the federal government.

"That's five billion they say probably wouldn't reach homeowners until it could be summertime ... and that's unacceptable," Turner said.

Copyright 2018 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.