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What to expect amidst looming possibility of government shutdown

(Fox 17 News)

A government shutdown is possible on Friday if the senate doesn't pass a temporary spending bill by midnight.

The house passed a plan Thursday night, but if the senate doesn't follow suit, hundreds of thousands of federal workers won't get paid.

Life will carry on when it comes to getting your mail, flying and public education but your tax refund and national monuments and parks would be impacted if there is a government shutdown.

"Social security, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, those are things that are not affected by this particular issue," said Dr. Marc Schwerdt, assistant professor of political science in Lipscomb University’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. "The other 1/3 is what we call discretionary federal spending."

According to Dr. Schwerdt, the budget is split into two categories of essential and non-essential. The latter is directly impacted by a government shutdown like closing the IRS and national parks/monuments.

"It's not going to effect your local social security office," Schwerdt said. "It's not going to effect Fort Campbell at least in the most ways they function. Those agencies like the Department of Defense have money built up to go on for several more weeks of spending without having to be affected by this showdown between the president and Congress between the republicans and democrats."

Experts say protecting "dreamers" is what democrats are pushing for, while the GOP want more military and border security funding. It's the government showdown that could lead to a shutdown.

" I was the first in my family to graduate high school and the first to attend college," said Juliana Manani last fall at a DACA silent march in Nashville.

Other DACA recipients in the mid-state like Lizeth Luna, want the same opportunity.

"The dream I have of being a homicide detective," Luna said.

If the government doesn't pass a clean Dream Act by the deadline, Luna said there's a lot at risk for herself and other dreamers.

"That will basically take college away from me," Luna said.

In the meantime, Dr. Schwerdt said not to panic.

"As of right now, this is simply inside the beltway drama," Schwerdt said. "Even though it's about very important issues that a lot people care very much about, these are things that people are trying to find a fix for, a compromise. We've gotten into a game of chicken essentially. It will continue on even if it's not this time and we avoid a shutdown, it will come up in another couple of months when we've reached a deadline to set a budget."

In 2013, Congress approved to backpay furloughed workers after. There's no word yet on if that will happen if a shutdown takes place this weekend.

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