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Shutdown Impact: Tourists, Homebuyers Hit Quickly

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ A government shutdown is having far-reaching consequences for some, but minimal impact on others.

Mail is being delivered. Social Security and Medicare benefits continue to flow.

But vacationers are being turned away from national parks and Smithsonian museums, and that's having a ripple effect on those businesses and communities that rely on tourism. Borrowers applying for a mortgage can expect delays, particularly many low-to-moderate income borrowers and first-time homebuyers.

A look at how services have been affected, and sometimes not, by Congress failing to reach an agreement averting a partial government shutdown.

AIR TRAVEL

Federal air traffic controllers remain on the job and airport screeners continue to funnel passengers through security checkpoints. But safety inspections of planes, pilots and aircraft repair stations by government workers have ceased because federal inspectors have been furloughed.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

The State Department would continue processing foreign applications for visas and U.S. applications for passports, since fees are collected to finance those services. Embassies and consulates overseas are expected to remain open and provide services for U.S. citizens abroad. A small, but undisclosed, number of employees have been furloughed from several programs, including the State Department's Office of Inspector General and the International Boundary and Water Commission.

BENEFIT PAYMENTS

Social Security and Medicare benefits continue to be paid out, but there could be delays in processing new disability applications. Unemployment benefits are also still going out.

FEDERAL COURTS

Federal courts continue to operate normally and will do so until mid-October. If the shutdown continues, the judiciary would have to begin furloughs of employees whose work is not considered essential. But cases would continue to be heard. The Supreme Court also says its business will go on despite the ongoing shutdown, and the high court will hear arguments Monday and will continue do so through at least the end of next week.

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