EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSGovernment Shutdown Looms If Parties Can't Agree
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Dave Benton
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Also Contributing: CNN
Reported: Sep. 21, 2013 8:56 PM EDT
Updated: Sep. 21, 2013 10:17 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
The latest battle over a spending plan in Congress could bring a government shutdown in less than two weeks.
That would mean more than just some government workers staying home.
National parks, some of them top tourist attractions, would all shut their doors to visitors.
The same goes for places like the National Zoo or Statue of Liberty.
A government shutdown threatens to close some of America's greatest treasures.
Museums and federal offices, with visa and passport services, across the country could close, just as they did in the mid 1990's.
That shutdown could affect a lot of different programs, from Medicare, veterans benefits, to traveling abroad.
New filers at most government agencies could see problems like unstaffing and shorter work weeks.
Finally, hundreds of thousands of federal workers could expect to be furloughed without pay.
Eyewitness News took the issue to the streets to find out what people thought about a possible government shutdown.
“A government shutdown would be totally ridiculous, in this day and age, in our society, to do something like that,” Steve Summers said. “It's a ridiculous waste of our tax dollars.
But it's a reality, as both Democrats and Republicans battle over a spending plan. Republicans don't want to fund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obamacare.”
Beth Clensy agrees that's a good idea.
“Here's the bottom line,” she said. “I paid for my own insurance for years. I self-funded, and now I can't afford to because my hours were cut. I was not part of the problem. Why do i have to be part of the solution? I don't care about tourism.”
Samuel Settle, chairman of the Kanawha County Republican Party's Lincoln Day dinner, said the shutdown is being portrayed as a Republican issue, but said it takes two to tango. In reality, we might not see much change.
“Take the sequester, for instance,” he said. “The fear was that it would lead to massive reduction in services. But, a point in fact, there were relatively few people affected by this.”
Next week, the Democratic-led U.S. Senate is certain to reject the House's spending plan which defunds the Affordable care Act.
If an agreement can't be made on the president's key healthcare legistlation, that could mean a shutdown at the end of the month.
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