AP FACT CHECK: Trump Says USA Itself At Risk Of Closing

President Donald Trump speaks to the media at the Pentagon, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. At right is White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON — No, the United States is not at risk of shutting down this week, as President Donald Trump suggested Thursday.

Neither is the entire government, for that matter.

Trump said on his way into Pentagon meetings: “If the country shuts down, which could very well be, the budget should be handled a lot differently than it’s been handled over the last long period of time — many years.”

Republicans and Democrats are racing to reach a short-term budget agreement and head off a partial government shutdown that could start at midnight Friday night. If they fail, the consequences, though noticeable, would be far short of a country in paralysis. Even core government functions would keep going.

In a nutshell: Hundreds of thousands of federal workers would be idled, some national parks could close, and certain other services, deemed non-essential, would stop. The air traffic control system, food inspection, Medicare, veterans’ health care and many other essential government programs would run as before. The Social Security Administration would continue to pay benefits and take applications. The Postal Service would run as usual, and the 1.3 million uniformed military personnel would still be on duty. National security operations would continue.

Whether they work through a partial shutdown or not, federal workers can’t get paid during a lapse in funding. In the past, however, they have been repaid retroactively even if they were ordered to stay home.

By CALVIN WOODWARD - JAN 18. 2018 - 1:46 PM EDT AP


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