There’s still a chance lawmakers will pass a short-term funding bill before Tuesday and prevent a government shutdown.
But if they don’t, then what happens?
In one of the first orders of business, a dividing line will be drawn between the federal services and workers deemed essential and non-essential.
Or, in the more delicate language of those drawing up contingency plans, “excepted” and “non-excepted.”
Those in the first category will carry on operations during the shutdown. The others will power down until Congress comes to its senses and funds the government.
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