Last night the House approved an extension of federal funds for another month but the bill has uncertain prospects in the Senate ahead of the looming deadline.
With the fate of the spending bill in the balance, federal agencies have been told to prepare for partial government shutdowns throughout America on Saturday.
If money does run out, many federal agencies would be shut down and workers sent home. But “essential services” dealing with public safety and national security would continue.
What is a government shutdown?
A US government shutdown happens if lawmakers in Congress do not pass enough funding to run government operations and agencies.
This means that much of the government workforce is placed on an unpaid leave of absence, known as a furlough, and told not to work.
More than 800,000 federal employees were furloughed during the last US government shutdown which lasted more than two weeks in 2013.
Donald Trump tweeted: “A government shutdown will be devastating to our military…something the Dems care very little about!”
Active duty military personnel are not furloughed during a such down and “essential services” such as the FBI and Department of Homeland Security continue.
But there is a risk that the troops may not be paid during a shutdown, while many civilian employees at the Department of Defense employees will not work.
National parks, zoos and museums close during a shutdown. The shutdown would also impact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
During the 2013 shutdown, the Internal Revenue Service furloughed 90 per cent of workers, according the liberal Center for American Progress.
But Americans could still send and receive letters because the US Postal Service uses income from stamps and other fees to run day-to-day operations.