Federal Employees and Contractors:
LINDA CREIGHTON FOR USN&WR
In the 1995 shutdown, Congress voted to pay back federal employees for the time they were furloughed. It's not clear, in the current political environment, whether lawmakers would make the same decision. Also, In the past 15 years, the federal government has come to rely on contractors for much more of its work. For the thousands of employees who work for government contractors, the situation could be even more uncertain as federal money dries up.