The cost to shut down and reopen the federal government isn’t cheap and it will affect citizens in a number of ways.
CNN reports that Federal agencies have to use up time, energy and resources to plan for a shutdown. Congressional Research Service states that the two previous shutdowns in late 1995 and early 1996 cost the country $1.4 billion.
This is troubling at a time when the economy is finally showing signs of life.
CNN’s David Simpson and Saeed Ahmed reported on 10 ways the shutdown could affect you, including:
Government services and agencies that would be closed, suspended or otherwise impacted in a shutdown.
Those who own small business and want a federally-funded loan will have to wait. If you are planning to purchase a home using a federal loan you too will have to wait. If you are a veteran you may have to wait for your checks. Social Security payments were sent during the last shutdown. It is unknown if there will be enough employees to process new benefits for the newly retired.
People living in Washington D.C. will be without trash collection. No budget for the city means no trash collection. According to The Washington Post, D.C. produces about 500 tons of garbage each week.
A shutdown would affect the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives. Processing of gun permits would be delayed.
There should be no break in U.S. Postal Service so you should receive your mail on time.
Essential banking continues during a federal government shutdown and taxes are still collected. U.S. bonds will still be issued.
Those who serve and protect their country will have to wait to be paid. In January, Sens. Mark Udall, D-Colorado and Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, introduced legislation that would have protected pay for the troops during a shutdown but it didn’t get anywhere, CNN reports.
“All military personnel will continue to serve and accrue pay but will not actually be paid until appropriations are available,” Rep. C.W. Young, chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee told the Air Force Times.
Their mid-October paycheck would be the first affected. In addition, the congressman told the paper, changes of station would be delayed, medical offerings would be scaled back, facility and weapons maintenance would be suspended and most civilian employees would be furloughed until appropriations are available.
A total of 368 National Park Service sites will be closed, including zoos, museums and parks.
During the last shutdown 200,000 applications for passports went unprocessed, negatively affecting tourism and airline revenue. According to the State Department’s current shutdown plan, however, offices will remain open because they generate enough in fees to support their operation. Any offices located in a federal building affected by the shutdown, however, may not be able to open.
A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. found that 51% will blame Republicans if the government closes its doors. The U.S. has operated without a budget since 2009 and has managed to avoid a government shutdown with last-minute deals.
The government runs out of money on October 1. The nation is set to hit the debt ceiling and go into default in mid-October. CNN senior White House correspondent said, “Together, they serve as a dysfunction double whammy.”
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