The Statue of Liberty would close during a government shutdown

Here's how the probable government shutdown will affect New York City (if you've been meaning to see Lady Liberty, you might want to reschedule).

Photograph: Wikimedia Commons/Derek Jensen

As you've no doubt heard, a government shutdown is looming: If Congress doesn't pass a spending bill by midnight tonight, there won't be money available to fund many of the federal government's programs and departments (including the EPA, NASA and the Social Security Administration). Although essential services—like mail delivery and border protection—would continue, nearly 800,000 people whose roles are deemed "nonessential" would likely be furloughed. Good times. Confused as to why this is happening? We'll let Jezebel explain; if you prefer your FAQ snark-free, here's one from CNN.

So what does this mean for New Yorkers? WNYC has a good explainer; unless you're one of the nearly 100,000 employes of the federal government living in the tristate area, the effects of a shutdown likely won't be immediate. However, tourism will be impacted right away: National parks and museums, such as the Statue of Liberty (which reopened following post-Hurricane Sandy damage in July), will close for the duration of the shutdown. Passport offices, however, will remain open, and air-traffic controllers and active military personnel, among others, will still be paid.

Of course, there's a chance—a very, very slim chance—that this could all be resolved before midnight. To keep up with the latest developments, we recommend following The New York Times' liveblog; or, if you're lazy, check Is the Government Shut Down? on Tumblr for simple updates (yes or no) in real time.

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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