WASHINGTON (AP) - A government shutdown is having far-reaching consequences for some, but minimal impact on others.
Mail is being delivered. Social Security and Medicare benefits continue to flow.
But vacationers are being turned away from national parks and Smithsonian museums, and that's having a ripple effect on those businesses and communities that rely on tourism. Borrowers applying for a mortgage can expect delays, particularly many low-to-moderate income borrowers and first-time homebuyers.
A look at how services have been affected, and sometimes not, by Congress failing to reach an agreement averting a partial government shutdown.
Federal air traffic controllers remain on the job and airport screeners continue to funnel passengers through security checkpoints. But safety inspections of planes, pilots and aircraft repair stations by government workers have ceased because federal inspectors have been furloughed.
The State Department would continue processing foreign applications for visas and U.S. applications for passports, since fees are collected to finance those services. Embassies and consulates overseas are expected to remain open and provide services for U.S. citizens abroad. A small, but undisclosed, number of employees have been furloughed from several programs, including the State Department's Office of Inspector General and the International Boundary and Water Commission.
Social Security and Medicare benefits continue to be paid out, but there could be delays in processing new disability applications. Unemployment benefits are also still going out.
Federal courts continue to operate normally and will do so until mid- October. If the shutdown continues, the judiciary would have to begin furloughs of employees whose work is not considered essential. But cases would continue to be heard. The Supreme Court also says its business will go on despite the ongoing shutdown, and the high court will hear arguments Monday and will continue do so through at least the end of next week.
The Supreme Court announced on its website that its building will be open to the public during its usual hours.
Deliveries continue as usual because the U.S. Postal Service receives no tax dollars for day-to-day operations. It relies on income from stamps and other postal fees to keep running.
All national parks are closed. Grand National Canyon National Park was shut down for only the second time since it was created in 1919. The Grand Canyon averages 18,000 tourists per day in October, which has left hotels, concessionaires and tour operators losing money by the hour.
In Washington, monuments along the National Mall have been closed, as have the Smithsonian museums, including the National Zoo. Among the visitor centers that have closed: the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York, Independence Hall in Philadelphia and Alcatraz Island near San Francisco.
New patients are not being accepted into clinical research at the National Institutes of Health, but current patients continue to receive care. Medical research at the NIH has been disrupted as some studies have been delayed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been severely limited in spotting or investigating disease outbreaks such as the flu or that mysterious MERS virus from the Middle East.
The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they could handle recalls and high-risk foodborne outbreaks, but they are less likely to discover them because most of the people who investigate outbreaks have been furloughed.
Routine food safety inspections conducted by FDA are suspended, so most food manufacturers won't have to worry about periodic visits from government inspectors to make sure their facilities are clean. U.S. food inspections abroad have also been halted.
USDA's federal meat inspections are proceeding as usual, however. USDA inspectors are on the lines every day in meatpacking plants and are required to be there by law for the plants to stay open.
The Education Department has said that a shutdown beyond a week would "severely" curtail the cash flow to school districts, colleges and universities and vocational rehabilitation agencies that depend on department funds. For example, colleges rely on department funds to pay ongoing expenses for staff in programs for disadvantaged students. The department would not make additional details available on Friday about the number of districts, colleges and universities and vocational rehabilitation agencies that could more immediately feel the impact of a shutdown.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, has enough money to operate through the end of October, according to USDA. The department distributed almost $400 million in federal unexpended and contingency dollars this week to states to cover any shortfalls. The program provides supplemental food, health care referrals and nutrition education for pregnant women, mothers and their children.