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Contractors could be sent home if government shuts down

Wednesday - 9/25/2013, 7:20am  ET

Which workers would be furloughed

Francis Rose, host of In Depth on Federal News Radio

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WASHINGTON - The standoff over the federal budget continues as the Sept. 30 deadline gets closer.

And that, of course, means a government shutdown could be right around the corner.

Hundreds of thousands of federal employees around the country could be furloughed as part of the closure. But they're not the only ones whose jobs would be at risk.

Francis Rose of Federal News Radio says federal contractors' jobs also depend on government operations.

"There's no guarantee that your company is going to say, 'Well, we'll pay you to keep showing up at our office or working at home doing nothing,'" Rose says.

And a shutdown costs a lot more than many people may think. In 1996, the last government shutdown, the closure cost the government more than $1 billion. But almost 20 years later, the government has grown, Rose says.

"A lot of that cost is born in how the government has to reopen. It's not just a matter of coming back in the first day after the shutdown ends, turning the lights back on. There's a lot more to it than that," Rose says.

House Republicans have passed a resolution to fund the government only if Obamacare is defunded, a move that likely won't survive in the Senate.

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