What happens to Social Security and other benefits: Funding for entitlement benefits is considered mandatory, meaning it's not subject to the annual appropriations process.
So the money will be there to pay the benefits. The only question is whether the federal workers who process them will be.
Social Security checks did go out during the last shutdown, and the White House should be able to ensure the same thing happens again if need be.
During the mid-1990s shutdowns, the Social Security Administration initially retained nearly 5,000 employees to send benefits to those already enrolled in the program. But during the second, longer shutdown, it realized it would need closer to 50,000 employees to process applications for new claims or Social Security cards, address changes and other benefit-related tasks.
How the ACA will fare: Those who would threaten to shut the government down are those who most want to see the health care reform law delayed and defunded.
But an analysis by the CRS concludes that the implementation of the ACA is likely to continue in the event of a shutdown.