COLUMBIA - A federal government shut down looms, as Congress has until October 1 to come to an agreement about the government spending bill. Otherwise several programs and agencies could shut down.
Some of the problems to expect if a shutdown happens include:
- National parks will be closed
- National museums and monuments will be closed
- State and local preparedness programs for natural disasters will be postponed
- Seniors will continue receiving Social Security benefits
- The government will continue to pay unemployment benefits
- Food stamps (SNAP) will not be affected, but there is no money for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). But some state funds may be available.
- Veterans and active military may not recieve compensation for services
That last shut down happened in 1995 and lasted 21 days. Hundreds of thousands of non-essential government workers were forced to take a leave of absence but were eventually paid for the days they missed.
The National Weather Service all cut down on its regular reports, and 600 toxic waste dump sites were abandoned and uncleaned.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the shutdown cost the the country $1.4 billion.