JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — As the federal government grinds to a halt because of a budget impasse between House Republicans and Senate Democrats in Washington D.C., nearly one million federal employees or on furlough, and a wide swath of public departments are closed.
Will the shutdown affect you and if so, how? We’ve assembled a list.
A few things affected by a shutdown:
National Parks will all be closed for business, as will any historic sites primarily operated by the National Parks Service. Missouri has six national parks which took in more than four million visitors in 2012 and more than $158 million in revenue. All of these parks will be shut down until the government starts back up.
A few things not affected by a shutdown:
Don’t worry, air traffic controllers won’t be sent home any time soon. Their work is classified as “essential activities to the extent that they protect life and property.” Meaning they will stay on, without pay.
The bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will cease halting applications for firearms, meaning some new gun permits will be delayed until the shutdown is over.
Disaster relief isn’t going anywhere, and the Social Security Administration will continue to cut checks.
While existing benefits will be paid out, Medicare and Social Security will not be able to process any new benefits. So if you’re about to retire, maybe wait a week or two.
Statewide law enforcement is funded largely with state money. Don’t worry, your local police officers and fire fighters aren’t going anywhere.
While the armed forces continue to serve in its capacity around the globe, soldiers and military personnel are technically not paid during a shutdown.
While much of the shutdown debate surrounds whether Obamacare can be delayed or defunded as part of a budget arrangement, much of the new healthcare law will continue to roll out regardless of a shutdown because most of the funds spent implementing Obamacare are funds that automatically continue to pay out during a shutdown. Healthcare exchanges will open and stay open today, regardless of whether Congress lands on a budget.
Approximately 25,000 Missourians in St. Louis alone are employees of the federal government, and their average pay is about $66,000 annually. Not all of them will be sent home, but some of them surely will. The exact number currently is undetermined.
Most Title I education grants as well as workforce grants have already had funds awarded.
Head Start funds will be unavailable to Missourians.
While the federal government has stopped payment to the Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), a spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said the program had received enough funds to run for a few more weeks in the event of a shutdown.
Some other notable impacts:
- -The Federal Election Commission will furlough 335 of its 339 employees during a shutdown as the end of the third fundraising quarter looms.
- -A Scott Air Force Base spokesperson said about 5,000 civilian workers would be without pay during a shutdown.
Collin Reischman was the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.