Budget shutdown continues to threaten social services

As Republicans and Democrats continue to spar over this year’s budget, the prospect of a partial government shutdown looms.

Both parties have agreed that they want to avoid a government shutdown at all costs, however, a government shutdown may hinge on funding for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which provides reproductive health materials and child health services to Americans free of charge.

Republicans refuse to pass a budget deal that supports Planned Parenthood, asserting that Planned Parenthood uses government funds to cover the cost of abortions, a key policy issue for Republicans.

Democrats have accused Republicans of becoming bogged down in policy and moral issues rather than considering the fragile state of the American economy.

If a budget deal is not reached by late tonight, starting tomorrow non-essential government services will be suspended. Those include passport services, National Parks, and national museums amongst other services and government entities.

As many as 800,000 government employees could be affected by a partial government shutdown.

U.S. Military, air transportation, Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service will continue to operate and function according to plan.

Although tax refunds for those filing on paper could be delayed, federal income taxes are still required to be paid by April 16, according to the Internal Revenue Services.

The last government shutdown, which occurred in 2005 under then-President Clinton, cost the government approximately $1.5 billion.