By The Associated Press
The government shutdown continues with some glimmer of hope for those who would like to visit the nation's national parks: The Obama administration said it would consider offers from the states to use their own money to pay for park operations.
Meanwhile, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission sent roughly 90 percent of its staff home Thursday, though it will respond to immediate safety concerns.
The shutdown continues to have far-reaching consequences for some, but minimal impact on others. Mail is being delivered. Social Security and Medicare benefits continue to flow. But the shutdown has been particularly harsh on those who rely on tourism, such as communities near the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone national parks.
A look at how services have been affected, and sometimes not, by Congress failing to reach an agreement averting a partial government shutdown:
Federal air traffic controllers remain on the job and airport screeners continue to funnel passengers through security checkpoints. Furloughs of safety inspectors had put inspections of planes, pilots and aircraft repair stations on hold, but the Federal Aviation Administration says it is asking 800 employees â¿¿ including some safety inspectors â¿¿ to return to work this week. More than 2,900 inspectors had been furloughed. The State Department continues processing foreign applications for visas and U.S. applications for passports, since fees are collected to finance those services. Embassies and consulates overseas remain open and are providing services for U.S. citizens abroad.
Social Security and Medicare benefits continue to be paid out, but there could be delays in processing new disability applications. The Social Security Administration is also delaying the announcement of the size of next year's cost-of-living adjustment, which was supposed to come out on Oct. 16. Unemployment benefits are also still going out.
Federal courts, which have been using fees and other funds to operate since the shutdown began, will likely have enough money to operate until Oct. 17, and possibly Oct. 18.