What’s open and what’s closed if the government shuts down?

As the possibility of a government shutdown grows, so do questions about which agencies and programs will close and which will remain open.

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If Congress cannot come to an agreement on spending bills before midnight on Sept. 30, the government — or at least parts of it — will be closed because government agencies would not have the legal authority to spend money.

If agencies are not funded, they cannot provide services and they cannot pay employees.

However, during a shutdown, not everything is closed down.

Here is a look at what is open and what will be closed during a government shutdown:

Will the post office be open?

The United States Postal Service will stay open even if the government shuts down.

Can I go to a national park?

Some parks will be open and others may be closed. If a park is open, it may not be staffed, or at least not fully staffed.

Can you fly or go by train?

Airports stay open, but there could be delays.

Amtrak will remain open. It receives federal subsidies, but it is run as an independent business.

What about museums?

In Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will be closed.

Will the passport office be open?

Consular services — such as issuing passports — will be offered domestically and abroad as long as the department has the budget to cover these operations.

“At this time, scheduled passport and visa services in the United States and at U.S. Embassies and Consulates overseas will continue during the lapse in appropriations as the situation permits,” the State Department said.

However, the offices where you apply for a passport will likely close during a shutdown.

Will food programs still be open?

Yes. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) have contingency funds that allow them to continue to help with food supplements.

Will Head Start remain open?

According to the White House, Head Start for early child education will be closed.

Can I get a Small Business Loan?

No. The Small Business Administration will close if the government is shut down.

What else may be closed or postponed?

The National Celebration of Hip-Hop, originally set to occur on Oct. 6-7 on the National Mall, has been relocated and postponed. The National Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Park are part of the National Park System, and as such are administered by the National Park Service.

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