What a Government Shutdown Means for Hudson Valley Families
Oct 1, 2013
I have heard from many of my neighbors in the Hudson Valley about what the federal government shutting down would mean for them and their families. I am continuing to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reach a responsible solution to keep our government open.
Like many of you, I’m tired of these Tea Party manufactured crises and irresponsible demands which will shut down our economy and our government. Instead of working across the aisle to reach a reasonable compromise, radical Republicans want to play a reckless high stakes poker game that will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and put Social Security claims, small businesses, veterans benefits, and homeowners at risk.
A government shutdown would disrupt many other important government services; however, essential services like Social Security checks, Medicare payments, and Postal delivery would not be impacted. In addition, our military servicemen and servicewomen would continue to stay on duty although their paycheck could be potentially delayed.
Since many federal agencies are reducing staff and services in the event of a shutdown, my staff and I are available to answer your questions or concerns or if you need any assistance. Please do not hesitate to e-mail or call me at 202-225-5441 or 845-561-1259.
Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security:
Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other mandatory programs will not be effected, but new Social Security applications will likely not be processed during any shutdown, as during in the previous shutdowns.
About 800,000 federal employees will see their paychecks jeopardized or delayed.
The military's 1.4 million active-duty personnel will stay on duty, their paychecks will be delayed. About half of the Defense Department's civilian employees will be furloughed.
Most services offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs will continue. Veterans will still be able to visit hospitals for inpatient care, mental health counseling, or get prescriptions filled at VA health clinics. Operators will still staff the crisis hotline and claims workers would still process payments to cover disability and pension benefits.
However, the Veterans Benefits Administration will be unable to process education and rehabilitation benefits. The Board of Veterans' Appeals will be unable to hold hearings.
Federal air traffic controllers will remain on the job and airport will continue to operate security checkpoints; delays are possible. Federal inspectors will continue enforcing safety rules.
The State Department will keep most consulates and embassies open this time around, although some passport and visa processing could be interrupted.
Deliveries would continue as usual because the US Postal Service receives no tax dollars for day-to-day operations. It relies on income from stamps and other postal fees to keep running.
Many low-to-moderate incomes borrowers and first-time homebuyers seeking government-backed mortgages could face delays during the shutdown. The Federal Housing Administration, which guarantees about 30 percent of home mortgages, wouldn't underwrite or approve any new loans during the shutdown. Action on government-backed loans to small businesses would be suspended.
The IRS expects 90% of its employees (almost 86,000) to be furloughed during a government shutdown. Americans would still have to pay their taxes and file federal tax returns, but the Internal Revenue Service says it would suspend all audits and many taxpayer services, including toll-free help lines, would be shut as well.
National Parks and Museums:
All national parks and federal wildlife refuges would be closed for the duration of the shutdown. About 9 million visitors were turned away from parks, museums and monuments run by the National Park Service in the mid-1990s, the last time the government shut down temporarily.
The majority of the Department of Homeland Security's employees are expected to stay on the job, including uniformed agents and officers at the country's borders and ports of entry, members of the Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration officers, Secret Service personnel and other law enforcement agents and officers. US Citizenship and Immigration Services employees will continue to process green card applications.