Visiting hours at all 398 national parks are likely to be cut and sensitive areas would be blocked off to the public. Thousands of seasonal workers looking for jobs would not be hired, according to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Salazar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said visitors would encounter locked restrooms, fewer rangers and trash cans emptied less frequently.
More than half of the nation's 2.1 million government workers might be required to take furloughs if their agencies are forced to trim budgets. At the Pentagon alone that could mean 800,000 civilian workers would be off for 22 days each, spread across more than five months -- and lose 20 percent of their pay over that period. Other federal agencies are likely to furlough several hundred thousand more workers.
About 70,000 students enrolled in pre-kindergarten Head Start could be cut from the program and 14,000 teachers could lose their jobs. For students with special needs, the cuts could eliminate about 7,200 teachers and aides.
The Education Department has warned that the cuts will impact up to 29 million student loan borrowers and that some lenders might have to lay off staff or even close. Some of the 15 million college students who receive grants or work-study assignments at about 6,000 colleges also could see changes.
Congressional trips overseas likely will take a hit. House Speaker John Boehner told Republican members in a closed-door meeting that he's suspending the use of military aircraft for official trips by House members. Lawmakers typically travel on military planes for fact-finding trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan or other congressional excursions to foreign locales.
Cleanup of radioactive waste at nuclear sites across the country could be delayed. The Energy Department said the cuts would postpone work at the department's highest-risk sites, including the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Wash., where six tanks are leaking radioactive waste left over from decades of plutonium production for nuclear weapons.
Other high-risk sites that could face work delays are the Oak Ridge Reservation in Tennessee, Savannah River Site in South Carolina and the Idaho National Laboratory.
Any furloughs at the Internal Revenue Service will be delayed until summer, after the tax filing season ends, so tax refunds shouldn't be delayed, the agency said.
However, other IRS services could be affected. Millions of taxpayers might not be able to get responses from IRS call centers and taxpayer assistance centers. The cuts could delay IRS responses to taxpayer letters and force the agency to complete fewer tax return reviews, reducing its ability to detect and prevent fraud. The IRS said this could result in billions of dollars in lost revenue to the government, complicating deficit reduction efforts.
More than 3.8 million people jobless for six months or longer could see their unemployment benefits reduced by as much as 9.4 percent. Thousands of veterans would not receive job counseling.
Fewer Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors could mean 1,200 fewer inspections of dangerous work sites.