WESTCHESTER, N.Y. -- If Congress does not settle on a funding bill by late Monday, Sept. 30 or extend the deadline for the bill, the federal government will shut down. The dispute over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as "Obamacare," is at the center of the debate.
In the event that government shuts down for the first time in 17 years, it would mean several national services, including parks, veteran services, tax refunds, small business loans, museums and national tourism services would slow or shut down.
While that does not necessarily answer what will happen in Westchester, here is a list of how a government shutdown may or may not affect you:
- Food stamps and welfare benefits may be halted, including food assistance.
- If you are traveling, you can cross national parks and museums off your list. Additionally, passport processing services would be closed, so no international travel either.
- Veterans Affairs services will shut down, but hospitals will still be in operation.
- Federal employees will be on furlough, and will not have to attend work. However, the postal service is exempt from this and mail will still be delivered.
- Gun, tobacco and liquor permits will not be processed.
- Armed forces will still be in operation, so Indian Point Energy Center will not experience less security, and neither will nearby Stewart Air National Guard Base. (Indian Point is protected by federal, state, local and private security.)
- Police, fire, medical, public safety, air traffic, food and drug inspection services will continue.
“We are monitoring the situation closely and hope that partisan politics can be put aside and a shutdown is avoided for the best interests of the American people,” Westchester County spokesman Ned McCormack said.
How do you think the shutdown may affect you? Join the conversation below.