Well then. Looks like the thick-headed, impudent twerps in Washington D.C. have fully managed to allow politics to trump their duty to their constituents, spurring the first government shutdown in nearly two decades.
Federal facilities across the nation have been padlocked, 800,000 government employees face uncertain futures, those who depend on federal social safety nets are in jeopardy, and the global financial market is in a tizzy.
Locally, Floyd Bennett Field, a National Park, is closed to the public, as is the Statue of Liberty and other federal parks and monuments.
More importantly to those in need, certain social programs remain at risk, bolstered only by generous funding at the state level.
In New York City, that includes the WIC program, which provides food to low-income mothers of young children. The program is no longer funded by the federal government – thanks to the showdown – but those in New York State will still be able to receive certain benefits for approximately one week, when reserves dry up.
School lunches and food stamps will still be available.
Federal employees throughout the neighborhood will be staying home, as 800,000 federal employees are furloughed. It’s not clear if that includes local FEMA representatives still on the ground helping with Superstorm Sandy recovery.
Army Corps of Engineers work at Plumb Beach, Coney Island, Brighton Beach and elsewhere will continue for several days, but may grind to a halt after funding from the prior year runs dry. Hundreds of contractors and employees may be furloughed without pay, and the projects – essential to the storm recovery and protection from future disasters – may be delayed.
Members of the active duty military are still on duty, but civilian employees of the Department of Defense, which likely includes a few stationed at Fort Hamilton, have been sent home.
In the midst of flu season, the Centers for Disease Control will face obstacles in tracking the flu and other disease outbreaks, and meeting the need through flu shot programs. Luckily for us, local elected officials have secured funding or partnerships for several local flu shot programs, and you can find the full schedule here.
Federal courts will continue to operate for about 10 business days, which we hope is enough to indict and convict the morons in our nation’s capital. But that’s unlikely. If you have any federal court business to take care of, we urge you to get it done as soon as possible.
Mail will continue to flow, so keep an eye out for political mailers. Priorities.
All essential personnel of the U.S. government, including the Department of Homeland Security, Coast Guard and Transportation Security Administration officers will stay on the job, and the government will continue to process green card applications.
Did we miss anything? Do you know of a program of service that has been discontinued due to the shutdown? Is the shutdown affecting you personally? Let us know in the comments.
Much of the information in this article came from an excellent rundown by the Guardian.