>> With a possible government shutdown just hours away, federal workers and officials are furiously prepping for how to handle it. With money running out at midnight if Congress can't reach a deal, thousands of workers and federal offices around the country are likely to be furloughed, from NASA to the EPA.
>> I am optimistic that Congress will do the right thing.>> Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday said a shutdown will not affect military operations in Afghanistan and battling ISIS in Iraq and Syria. But about 50% of the Pentagon's civilian workforce will be sent home. And operations like training, maintenance, and intelligence would stop.
Officials at the Justice Department and FBI say that they have a plan to keep most of their 115,000 people working, including investigators on special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. In the last shutdown in 2013, the IRS sidelined most of its workers, causing $4 billion in tax refunds to be delayed.
Processing of mortgages and other loans could also be put on hold. But the US mail would continue, as the postal service does not use taxpayer dollars for day-to-day operations. Courts would stay open, and critical services such as security checks at airports would go on uninterrupted.>> We are going to manage the shutdown differently.
>> And unlike the last shutdown, White House budget director Nick Mulvaney said the Trump administration would keep the national parks open, but workers will not get paid. But how that will work remains unclear.