Unless Congress can agree on a new budget, the federal government will shut down midnight Monday.
But that's unlikely to stop the massive spy machine at the National Security Agency.
The possible government shutdown would affect bureaucrats, park rangers and countless other government employees and contractors across the country. Even three-quarters of the White House staff would be sent home.
But "essential personnel" and services would stay online -- including the NSA's surveillance operations.
"A shutdown would be unlikely to affect core NSA operations," a government official familiar with the plans told The Hill on Thursday.
On Friday, the Defense Department released its plans for dealing with a potential shutdown. In a memo, intelligence and surveillance programs were listed as essential duties of the department not be affected by a shutdown.