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Government shuts down

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What that means for Bossier

The House and Senate’s failure to agree on a spending bill Monday caused a federal government shutdown, sending ripples that resonate locally.

Without a funding bill, President Barack Obama ordered the shutdown of the federal government just ahead of the midnight deadline. On Tuesday morning, the Senate voted to reject the latest effort to negotiate the shutdown.

All federal government services deemed nonessential were suspended.

All federally funded museums, national parks, and NASA are among the offices and programs closed for business.

Approximately one-third of federal workers will be furloughed.

The last government shutdown was 17 years ago when President Bill Clinton could not agree with Congress on a spending bill.

Now that the government has switched off, it could have a major impact on local institutions, including Barksdale Air Force Base.

A statement from 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs noted that a government shutdown will cause all activities that are not expressly authorized by statute, necessary to discharge presidential powers, or considered necessary for the safety of human life and protection of property, including operations essential to national security, will be discontinued and the civilians employed to accomplish these functions will be furloughed until an appropriation bill or continuing resolution is enacted.

This was underscored by a message left on the Barksdale AFB website, www.barksdale.af.mil, stating “Due to the government shutdown, this Web site is not being updated.”

While military members will not be subject to furlough, they will not receive pay for work performed after Sept 30 until an appropriation or bill is passed.

Military veterans could also be affected.

More than 3 million veterans receive disability payments and those could stop if there is no money. New claims for disability payments won’t be processed, and current payments still might arrive late.

The good news is that most other facets of regular life controlled by the government will remain unaffected. Including:

  • The U.S. Postal Service is exempt from the shutdown because it operates as a business independent of appropriated spending.
  • The Social Security office will not be able to issue new or replacement Social Security cards, replace Medicare cards or issue a proof of income letter during a shutdown. But most functions will still go on.
  • All Drug Enforcement Agency field agents; staff at federal prisons; U.S. Marshals Service employees needed for judicial security, prisoner custody and fugitive transportation; Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives field agents will remain active during the shutdown.

 

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.