Sunday, August 24 2014 12:56 AM EDT2014-08-24 04:56:42 GMT
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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Lawmakers in Washington D.C. have to hash out an agreement on federal spending by the end of the month or face a government shutdown.
However, a University of Tennessee professor told 6 News even if a shutdown happens, most people won't feel the repercussions, at least at first.
"Most people would probably not notice the effects," UT political science professor Anthony Nownes said. "Most of the day-to-day sorts of things that affect people's lives in the community that are done by the government are done at the state levels. Things like education, garbage collection, sewage."
National parks including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Sevier County could see furloughs and face closures, but all essential federal programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will continue.
A shutdown would, however, come with a price tag.
Sen. Lamar Alexander is one of the Republican Senators asking members of his party to work to stop a government shutdown, saying it would not successfully defund the Affordable Healthcare Act, since that is mostly made of up of mandatory funds.
"The last time we had a government shutdown, it cost the taxpayers $1.4 billion extra according to the Congressional research service," Alexander said. "Shutting down the government won't work. Obamacare would just keep going like the Energizer Bunny."
Alexander said that federal laboratories at places like Oak Ridge National Laboratory would be affected by a shutdown, but ORNL told 6 News it has enough money to stay in operation during a shutdown, as long as it's not extensive.
Professor Nownes said if a government shutdown was long term, the effects would become more apparent.
"The longer it drags on, the more people might notice as more people are affected as things like furloughs might go from one to two days to weeks," Nownes said.