Republicans are holding disaster relief funds hostage until they get the Democratic program cuts they want in order to advance their extremist agenda. The only new spending in this bill is emergency disaster relief funds and Republicans are holding these funds hostage as an excuse to kill more programs they don’t like. They have until next Friday to pass the bill or the government will shut down. But what does that mean? What happens when the government shuts down? The following is a list of 22 things that will happen if the government shuts down.
1. The Department of Education shuts down which means Pell Grants and loans may not go out, affecting millions of students.
2. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shuts down, which means the temperature of the ocean isn’t being monitored, potentially hurting severe weather predictions.
3. The Department of Commerce shuts down meaning that trade negotiations cease because the negotiators have to go home. And the endangered species list doesn’t get updated.
4. Meat inspection would stop, which would lead to beef, pork, and poultry shortages in supermarkets across the country.
5. Most of the Environmental Protection Agency would shut down, which means that environmental safety regulations would not be enforced. The Kochs and Republicans must be smiling about this one.
6. Congress shuts down or at least slows down significantly because the members of Congress do not get paid nor do their staffs, and because they will have to figure out who is critical and who isn’t.
7. Mine safety inspections and other workplace safety inspections and regulations stop being enforced. Again, the Kochs and Republicans are going to be happy about this.
8. Social Security checks do not get mailed, leaving millions of seniors with little or no income.
9. Unemployment benefits could cease being paid out if the shut down lasts too long. State governments pay the benefits for the first 26 weeks, the Federal Government covers the other 73 weeks, so it is a possibility.
10. The men and women of the military do not see their pay checks, leaving many military families without an important source of income.
11. Veterans benefits do not get mailed, leaving our military veterans and their families without that income.
12. The Federal Aviation Administration would partially shut down. This has already occurred.
13. National parks, forests, monuments, and museums close down. People on vacation in Yellowstone or Washington DC and elsewhere are out of luck.
14. Interest rates increase, including rates on credit cards, bank loans, mortgages, etc… This amounts to a tax increase that will affect every family in America.
15. Businesses cannot get government grants or loans.
16. Millions of federal employees across the country lose their jobs, not just those in Washington DC.
17. The Department of Transportation cannot award contracts or fund infrastructure programs.
18. Anyone who depended on construction work funded by the government loses their job.
19. The stock market declines resulting in losses for individuals and corporations. In other words, another recession.
20. Everything slows down. There’s no place to call to check on grants and loans, some businesses do not get what they need to help customers, supermarkets experience shortages, etc…
21. Long term shut down would result in non-government related job losses too. As businesses lose money because of the loss of grants, loans, and customers because spending slows to a crawl out of fear, cuts to save money will be made and people will be laid off.
22. In 1995, shutting down and then restarting the federal infrastructure cost $1.4 billion. Today, that number would at least double. So a shut down and restart of the federal government would cost taxpayers over 3 billion dollars.
Ultimately, the only people in America that can stand a shut down and default are the wealthy and corporations. They can live for generations without additional income. Middle class and poor Americans on the other hand, cannot. Incomes have decreased and many people are already out of work. Shortages could lead to higher prices and many who rely on social insurance would have to survive without that income, meaning an increased burden on families across the country. A government shut down hurts the middle class and poor more than anyone else. As another government shut down looms, Republicans are still willing to hold the American people hostage to get their way. In the end, Republicans are to blame if a shut down occurs.
Edited by Wendy Gittleson