Written by Alex Gronke
With Congress in a stalemate over the budget, a federal government shutdown could begin Monday night that would close national parks, including popular tourist attractions in the Bay Area such as Alcatraz Island and Muir Woods, a parks spokeswoman said.
The deadline for Congress to pass a budget is midnight eastern time, and if no agreement is reached by then, many government operations will grind to a halt.
All destinations in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, as well as Fort Point and Muir Woods, would be closed to visitors, National Park Service spokeswoman Alexandra Picavet said.
The Bay Area's national parks draw about 17 million visitors per year, she said. If there is no deal reached, the gates will be shut.
What else can you expect during a government shutdown?
The postal service will deliver mail.
Federal courts will stay open for about 10 days before furloughs start interrupting normal business, according to NBC.
Air traffic controllers and airport screeners will remain at their posts.
Embassies and consulates around the world will stay open. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement will watch the borders and process Green Card applications.
While some civilian Pentagon bureaucrats will be furloughed, the 1.4 million active service military personnel will stay on duty. So will the Coast Guard.
Veterans will still be able to visit hospitals and receive their benefits, but some appeals for denied services may be postponed.
Food stamps will continue for a month, but WIC will close, according to CNN.
Medicare payments will be made.
NASA will keep mission control open.
The National Weather Service will provide weather forecasts. However, in what could be a problematic consequence of a shutdown for Californians wanting to know the magnitude of a temblor, the United States Geological Survey will close.
You’ll still have to pay your federal taxes, but the IRS will put audits on hold.
Don’t see the government agency or program you’re looking for? Here’s a pretty comprehensive list from CNN.
Federal workers in the East Bay
According to the federal Office of Personnel Management, there were 4,772 federal workers in Contra Costa County in 2012, and 7,810 in Alameda County.Bay City News Service contributed to this report.