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Timeline: Congress' path to federal shutdown
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What's affected by the government shutdown?
• Vital services that ensure seniors and young children have access to healthy food and meals may not have sufficient Federal funds to serve all beneficiaries in an extended lapse.
• Call centers, hotlines and regional offices that help veterans understand their benefits will close to the public.
• Veterans' compensation, pension, education, and other benefits could be cut off in the case of an extended shutdown.
• Every one of America's national parks and monuments, from Yosemite to the Smithsonian to the Statue of Liberty, will be immediately closed.
• New applications for small business loans and loan guarantees will be immediately halted.
• Research into life-threatening diseases and other areas will stop, and new patients won't be accepted into clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health.
• Work to protect consumers, ranging from child product safety to financial security to the safety of hazardous waste facilities, will cease. The EPA will halt non-essential inspections of chemical facilities and drinking water systems.
• Permits and reviews for planned energy and transportations projects will stop, preventing companies from working on these projects. Loans to rural communities will be halted.
• Hundreds of thousands of Federal employees including many charged with protecting Americans from terrorist threats, defending borders, inspecting food, and keeping the skies safe will work without pay until the shutdown ends.
• Hundreds of thousands of additional federal workers will be immediately and indefinitely furloughed without pay.
For detailed information about specific activities at Federal agencies, visit

Services that will continue during government shutdown:
• Social Security beneficiaries will continue receiving checks.
• The U.S. Postal Service will keep delivering mail.
• Active military will continue serving.
• Air traffic controllers, prison guards, and border patrol agents will remain on the job.
• NASA Mission Control will continue supporting astronauts serving on the Space Station.



The legislative twists and turns in Congress' battle over the partial government shutdown and the entwined Republican effort to curtail President Barack Obama's health care law:

Sept. 20: With a potential government shutdown 11 days off, the Republican-run House ignores a White House veto threat and uses a near party-line 230-189 vote to approve legislation denying money for much of the health care law while keeping the government open through Dec. 15. The measure moves to the Democratic-led Senate.

Sept. 24-25: As the Senate debates legislation to keep the government open, tea party Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and other conservatives speak on the chamber's floor for more than 21 consecutive hours against the health care law often called Obamacare. They do not delay or prevent votes, but they help intensify conservative fervor for using the shutdown bill to try forcing Democrats to limit Obamacare.

Sept. 27: The Senate votes 79-19 to end conservative efforts to derail the bill preventing a shutdown, with all Democrats and most Republicans opposing the conservatives. The Senate uses a party-line 54-44 vote to remove the House-approved provision defunding Obamacare, and an identical 54-44 vote to approve the overall bill. The bill, financing agencies through Nov. 15, goes back to the House.

Sept. 29: Just after midnight on Sunday morning, the House uses a rare and lengthy weekend session to shift its demands for restricting Obamacare. By a near party-line 231-192 vote, the House votes to delay implementation of the health care law by a year. It also votes 248-174 to repeal a tax on many medical devices that helps pay for the health care overhaul. The votes send the revamped shutdown bill back to the Senate.

Monday, Sept. 30:

—2:20 p.m. EDT: By 54-46, the Senate removes the House provisions postponing Obamacare and erasing the medical device tax. The shutdown bill moves back to the House.

—8:41 p.m.: The House approves a new shutdown bill 228-201 with different demands on Obamacare. It would delay for a year the requirement that individuals purchase health insurance, and require members of Congress and their staff to pay the full cost of health insurance, without the government paying part of the costs. The measure bounces to the Senate.

—9:37 p.m.: The Senate votes 54-46 to strip the House provisions on individual health insurance and federal health coverage subsidies for lawmakers and staff. The bill returns to the House.

—Shortly before midnight: White House Budget Office Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell sends memo to agency heads stating that a shutdown seems unavoidable and telling them to implement their plans for winding down.

Tuesday, Oct. 1:

—12:01 a.m. EDT: Government's new fiscal year begins. With no spending legislation enacted, partial federal shutdown begins to take effect.

—1:11 a.m.: House votes 228-199 to stand by its language delaying required individual health coverage and blocking federal subsidies for health insurance for lawmakers and staff, and to request formal negotiations with the Senate.

—10 a.m.: Senate votes 54-46 to reject House effort for formal bargaining.