Thousands of federal employees in New Mexico are bracing for the possibility of furloughs and lost paychecks as the government scoots closer to the edge of a partial shutdown next week.
Unless Congress acts before Tuesday to fund federal spending, the gates to popular tourist destinations such as Carlsbad Caverns National Monument and other parks around New Mexico could also be closed.
Passport applications will be left unprocessed and work will be suspended at the Bureau of Indian Affairs and other agencies.
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall says a shutdown would be "incredibly destructive" to New Mexico.
The Albuquerque Journal reports a shutdown could affect paychecks for about 2,100 Pentagon-funded civilian employees at Kirtland Air Force Base and about 4,000 other workers at New Mexico military installations.
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