No way to tell - the longest previous shutdown (Dec 1995 to Jan 1996) went for 21 days.
The next big deadline is Oct 17, when the US government will have to have either (a) resolved the budget dispute, or (b) approved an increase in the debt ceiling. If neither (a) nor (b) occurs then the government will be out of money completely and will begin defaulting on loans. That's obviously a very dire situation, with grave consequences for the US economy.
Nobody knows any more than that, and we can only hope it's all over before things reach that point.
No problem. The shutdown is due to end in just over two weeks. It won't affect your travel plans.
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Things should be clearer by 17 Oct.
Mark.....Your comment is inappropriate for this forum and just plain dumb.
Alex....We can only hope the current situation will not affect your January trip. As of now there is no end in sight and certainly nothing points to an end in "two weeks" as mentioned above.
Agree - while we hope it will be over in 2 weeks there is certainly no guarantee of that. In fact both sides are digging in further, and the administration isn't negotiating. What could happen is that there's a short term deal to raise the debt limit without addressing funding the government. So I don't know how others can advise you with such certainty that it will all be over in 2 weeks. Maybe it will; maybe it won't.Edited: 08 October 2013, 13:39
"No problem. The shutdown is due to end in just over two weeks."
That's news to me.
It should not, however, affect the average tourist as air traffic control, border checks and airport security continue to operate.
If you are traveling on tours that include government-managed resources or buildings, then I suspect your Washington (assuming DC) tour could be most impacted. Also, wait times at immigrations/customs (airports) might be higher. But, for most locations and cities on your lists - and certainly NBA, NFL - I think the impact is minimal.
Since it's the federal government that is partially shut down, it's the federal/national parks that have been closed. The state parks may well remain open.
I assume you meant the Grand Canyon (and not Crayon) - that is a National Park and is closed. Alcatraz, too (and Point Reyes and the Marin Headlands). Muir Woods (the redwood park) is closed, but Big Basin and Butano are open.
There is no doubt that if it's still shut down to this degree when you come to the USA, the major landmarks are going to be closed and inaccessible to you. You might want to come up with an alternative list of things to do, in case the situation continues.