How a Federal Shutdown Could Affect Americans

It's easy to see why both sides in the Washington budget battle agree—publicly, at least—that they don't want to see the government close down. When federal agencies were shuttered twice, for a combined 27 days, during 1995 and 1996, unemployment and welfare checks stopped, overseas travel was disrupted, economic reports went dark, and home loans were put on hold. House Republicans received the blame and later paid the price in the election booth.

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