How will the potential government shutdown affect Los Angeles & Southern California?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) (left) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) (right)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) (left) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) (right) Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images & Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Democrats and Republicans still remain between $6 billion and $7 billion apart in budget negotiations, with even bigger disagreement over policy issues in the budget bill. Chances for a deal before midnight Thursday seemed slim, meaning a government shutdown on Friday. What would this mean for Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California?

The Republican version of the bill would defund the health care law, Planned Parenthood and parts of the EPA, cuts that Democrats have said they can't sign on to.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's office issued a report that said that the economic impact to Los Angeles could be $571 million, but according to Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies, that's the cost over a full year. Any shutdown is unlikely to last that long. Stern spoke with KPCC's "AirTalk," which took an in-depth look at the budget shutdown.

You still have to pay your taxes, though paper returns won't be immediately processed. Essential IRS personnel will still be working, but people may not get their tax refunds on time, particularly if they file on paper. The IRS also won't be doing audits.

Essential employees, including members of Congress, will continue to be paid.

Some federal employees, such as those working in Social Security and passport offices, will be furloughed in the event of a shutdown. It will affect people applying for passports or applying for Social Security for the first time, but those who already receive Social Security will continue to receive their checks.

Furloughed federal employees may eventually get paid – during the 1995/1996 federal government shutdown, Congress ultimately paid those who had been furloughed during the shutdown even though they hadn't been working.

It won't have as big an effect in Los Angeles as in Washington, D.C., where a third of city employees are likely to not get paid because they're paid by the federal government.

The Central Valley could be hurt, with national parks like Yosemite, Sequoia and Death Valley being closed by a shutdown.

The last time there was a shutdown of the federal government in 1995, it was over the winter holidays, so there wasn't as big an impact as there could be this time on national parks.

Federally funded projects, such as transportation construction projects, will likely continue during a shutdown. While they may not receive funding on time, they will be paid eventually.

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