A government shutdown, set for Oct. 1 if lawmakers fail to strike a deal, would be unlikely to impede the National Security Agency's surveillance programs.
"A shutdown would be unlikely to affect core NSA operations," a government official familiar with the plans said.
The 2011 plan, outlined in a memo by then-Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn, exempted activities necessary for "protection of life and property." The exemption covered "intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance activities required to support national or military requirements necessary for national security," according to the memo.
The document also stated that "activities required to operate, maintain, assess, and disseminate the collection of intelligence data necessary to support tactical and strategic indications and warning systems," would not be affected by a shutdown.
The memo did state, however, that intelligence gathering "not in direct support of excepted activities" would be subject to the shutdown. But the government official said most NSA operations would likely not fall under that restriction.
The NSA's annual budget is $10.8 billion, according to a secret budget leaked to The Washington Post by Edward Snowden.