ALEXANDRIA, La.- The government shutdown has a lot of individuals and business owners a little nervous. One can only hope that this does not carry over into the debt ceiling. It is obvious that the political drama is doing nothing to help "the people."
The last shutdown occurred when republicans tried to strong arm former President Clinton. It went on for weeks and they lost, but not more than the American people before it was all said and done.
CENLA locals expressed their concerns on Monday when interviewed by KALB News Channel 5. Edward Ambush Sr. went on the record to say that "It seems like every time this year that the government always wants to put the threat in that they're going to shut down and that they have all these problems to me is just to get people upset." Ambush added "We never shut down you know nothing never changes. That's just like when they said the end of the world at that time it came. We're still here you know?"
Another Alexandria resident stated that "If the government shuts down it would not be a long-term shutdown. It would be a short temporary sort of like reboot as you would to have your computer rebooted." While one Alexandria woman stated that she felt like "congress is playing terrorist as they hold a gun to the head of their own people (Americans) while telling Obama, give us what we want or we will start shooting." She went on to say "What is the big deal if wealthy Americans have to help those who are less fortunate?"
The polls do not lie, and they show that almost one half of Americans do see that the republican party is at fault in this ordeal, and many feel it is an avoidable situation.
SNAP, workmen's compensation, medicaid, veterans benefits, medicare and social security recipients will get their benefits, but processing of new applications could be delayed.
At least for the time being federal courts and airports will operate as usual. Still, more than 21,000 federal employees in Louisiana statewide will be sent home without pay. All of this because the nations House Republicans continue to insist that Obamacare, which was set up to help people who need it the most, be defunded or delayed.
President Obama as well as our Senate Democrats will not negotiate on the Affordable Care Act, and they still refuse to be bullied under threat of a government shutdown.
Veterans Administration operates facilities in Alexandria, Lafayette, Jennings, Natchitoches, Lake Charles and Fort Polk. Tammie Arnold who is a public affairs officer with the Veterans Health Administration in Alexandria said “We’re funded through Dec. 30, 2014 so nothing changes for us; none of our clinics will close and all of our hospitals will continue to operate.” These facilities can and will be affected by the government shutdown to some degree if it drags on.
All benefits and payments that are issued by the Veterans Benefits Administration as well as claims that are to be processed will also continue through late October.
The federal court system will remain in effect through October 15, 2013. This is only because they had an emergency fund in place. This means that after the 15th bankruptcy and civil litigation will probably be delayed. Criminal proceedings will (in most cases) still be dealt with.
A lot of FBI workers and agents will be furloughed while only essential services will continue. An FBI memo was released on Monday saying, "Residents across the state of Louisiana can rest assured that the work of the FBI will continue despite a possible government shutdown,”
Home buyers and tourists as well as tourist communities will be hard hit.
Twenty out of 1600 head start programs will immediately be effected in the United States.
I personally spoke to a lady with Cenla Community Action Center who said that "the government shutdown should not effect people who are already enrolled or who have already applied for head start in Alexandria, at least not right now." So, that is some good news on the homefront.
Political Science Professor Jim Rogers says, "The federal government in the last six years has not had a budget. They've been existing on continuing resolutions which is a fancy way of saying we're going to spend the same amount of money we did last year but with built in increases."
Rogers went on to explain that, "There are lots of people in Washington and all over the country who are considered non-essential personnel. Those people will be furloughed. They'll essentially be told to go home, stay home because you're not going to be paid", and that "We've had over a dozen significant shutdowns of government in the sense that neither budgets nor continuing resolutions have been passed."
Right now all we can do is hope congress and the house can come to an agreement, work better together on the debt ceiling and that this does not drag out for weeks or months causing irreparable harm to America and the people who call this great Nation home.
You can go to CNN to keep up with the continuously updated list of the agencies that are being affected.