What to know about a potential government shutdown

(Stefani Reynolds/For The Washington Post )

Congress narrowly avoided a government shutdown this fall, but the time they bought themselves then has almost run out — so here we are again. It’s possible the government will shut down at least briefly starting Friday at midnight.

A brief shutdown wouldn’t impact too many government functions, but the longer it goes on, the longer federal workers will be forced to go without pay and other government services could be suspended — all during the holidays.

Here’s what you should know.