Sep 30 2013, 9:00am CDT | by IANS
Washington, Sep 30 — The US government is staring at the possibility of a partial shutdown that may disrupt all but essential services as a deeply polarised Congress has failed to strike a deal on a new federal budget, media reported Monday.
If the Democrat and Republican lawmakers fail to find a solution before the deadline on the new plan to continue funding the government operations, the shutdown would come into force Tuesday, Sky News reported.
While essential services would remain in place, nearly a million government employees will be forced off work without pay, and museums and national parks will close.
More than 700,000 staff could be sent home on unpaid leave, with no guarantee of back pay once the deadlock is over, BBC reported.
The shutdown would be the first in the US for 17 years, it added.
National parks and the capital's Smithsonian museums will be closed, pension and benefits cheques will be stopped and passport applications will not be processed.
The Republican-dominated House has passed a funding bill that would delay the full effect of the healthcare law by one year.
But the Senate, controlled by the Democrats, has promised to reject the bill when it reconvenes later - resulting in a stalemate.
The last time the federal government shutdown was under president Bill Clinton, when services ground to a halt for 28 days between December 1995 and January 1996.
It nearly happened again in April 2011.
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