The country would face an economic hellscape if the government shutdown lasts "months or even years," as the president has suggested it might.
"We'll be in no man's land," Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, told NBC News.
If the worst were to happen, experts say the devastating impact would be widespread.
WITHOUT FOOD, HOMES
By the end of February, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, run by the Department of Agriculture, would be out of funding — meaning almost 40 million low-income Americans could find themselves struggling to pay for food, said Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist for the accounting firm RSM US.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development, meanwhile, has already seen 1,150 contracts with private landlords housing low-income tenants lapse. Another 500 will expire by the end of this month, and another 550 by the end of February, the agency says.
Funding for rental assistance for millions of tenants could be at risk as soon as next month.
"The near-term impact is people getting evicted, having their heat turned off and not having enough food," Brusuelas said.
No-shows by airport workers — including TSA agents and air traffic controllers — would mean delays and canceled flights, hurting business dealings and tourism.
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