Welcome to the shutdown


No, there was no last minute compromise on Capitol Hill. So, yes, the U.S. government is shutting down.

What happens now? Well, more than 18,000 federal employees in Minnesota are apparently expected to report to work Tuesday. The Pioneer Press reports most of those workers will show up only to be informed that they are now on an indefinite unpaid furlough.

But if you're not a federal employee, the consensus among analysts is that the shutdown will do little to disrupt your daily routine -- at least in the short term.

Essential services such as law enforcement, health care, air travel, and mail delivery will continue. Meat inspectors and prison guards would be among those deemed essential workers who would stay on the job, WCCO reports.

The Office of Personnel Management in Washington decides who is an “essential” federal worker, and more than half of federal employees are deemed essential, MinnPost notes.

But as KSTP reports, the longer a shutdown lasts the greater its impact will be. Over time it will begin to affect the processing of loans to students or small businesses, and perhaps the federal effort to flight the flu as that season kicks into high gear.

MPR reports the shutdown will also have an economic cost that's harder to quantify. The uncertainty it's creating is already affecting the markets and the plans of untold businesses. A farmer in southeastern Minnesota, for example, tells KEYC he's nervous about how a lack of USDA inspectors might affect the harvest he's undertaking. MPR has an easy-to-read FAQ with background on the shutdown and how it affects Minnesota.

As for the late night political maneuvering in Washington, House Republican critics of the nation's health care law held fast in their refusal to allow more federal borrowing unless Obamacare is defunded or delayed. The only rift in the Republican ranks was led by Minnesota's Michele Bachmann. The New York Times reported Bachmann led a conservative faction that thought the last pre-deadline offer by House Speaker John Boehner gave too much away and, if enacted, would not do enough to disable the health care law.

On the other side of the aisle, one Democratic strategist wrote an opinion piece for CNN's website congratulating his party on holding together a coalition that includes Representatives as far to the left as Minnesota's Keith Ellison.

And so the first federal government shutdown since 1996 is underway.

Shutdowns, though, have happened more recently at the state level. Why, the Washington Post informs us that as recently as 2011 a state called Minnesota went through a government shutdown and lived to tell about it.

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