What would a government shutdown mean for East Texans? - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

What would a government shutdown mean for East Texans?

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - With a partial U.S. Government shutdown looming closer, many services East Texans depend upon daily could be impacted.

While a partial shutdown would halt many government services, it's important to note that there are some programs that won't stop providing services, even if the government shuts down first thing Tuesday morning. Those services include immigration and border security services, Social Security and Medicaid payments, emergency and disaster assistance, and mail delivery.

But while active-duty military members will still work, their paychecks will be furloughed until the shutdown is over, and all non-essential federal government employees in Texas will have to stay home.

Texas ranks third in the nation with around 140,000 federal workers, and tens of thousands of them will be forced to take leave if the shutdown takes place.

Also, the shutdown could affect you if you're planning to vacation in the near future. One of the areas that will be hard hit if a shutdown happens is the travel and tourism industry; specifically, if you are planning to travel overseas in the coming days or weeks and you haven't applied for or received a passport yet, you won't be getting one as long as the government is shut down.

The last time the government was shut down in early 1996, 200,000 applications for passports went unprocessed.

Also, the nation's 368 national parks, monuments, and museums will be closed while the government is shut down.

Texas has 13 national parks that saw almost 4 million visitors last year and brought in $177 million in tourism revenue in 2011.

But there is some good news if you need to fly over the next few days: one of the services deemed critical by the federal government is air traffic control.

Another area that will be affected by a government shutdown: loan applications. Whether you want to borrow money to continue your education, to start or continue funding your small business, or to buy a house, you won't be able to if the government shuts down.

Only some mortgage loan applications will be affected - those that are secured by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be okay. But loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, the Veteran's Administration, and Rural Development Loans by the U.S. Department of Agriculture won't be processed.  

According to the Federal Reserve, FHA-backed loans accounted for 45 percent of all mortgages used to buy homes last year.

As for the federal employees who do have to furlough, there's no guarantee that they will be paid retroactively for the work they miss.

They were the last time the federal government shut down in early 1996, but this time, it will depend on the continuing resolution that eventually passes in Congress.

If Congress fails to pass a continuing resolution to keep funding the government, a partial shutdown would go into effect at 12:01 a.m. ET Tuesday.

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