By Wayne Allen
October 1, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
Over the weekend and throughout the day on Monday one thing dominated the news — a possible federal government shutdown. The possibility would become a reality if action is not taken by federal legislators.
According to the office of Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, “If a shutdown would occur an estimated 52,000 Ohio federal employees could be out of work. Senior citizens would be ineligible to apply for new social security benefits. Veterans benefits would be delayed for new veterans claims, educational compensation and pension benefits would be delayed as a result federal furloughs and service cuts. A shutdown would also add to the disability claims backlog by slowing down processing for existing claims.”
According to a report from the Associated Press on the impacts of a government shutdown, “Social Security and Medicare benefits would keep coming, but there could be delays in processing new disability applications. Unemployment benefits would still go out.”
When it comes to the U.S. Postal Services the AP is reporting that, “Deliveries would continue as usual because the U.S. Postal Service receives no tax dollars for day-to-day operations. It relies on income from stamps and other postal fees to keep running.”
The AP is reporting that most of the veterans services will also continue.
“Most services offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs will continue because lawmakers approve money one year in advance for the VA’s health programs. Veterans would still be able to visit hospitals for inpatient care, get mental health counseling at vet centers or get prescriptions filled at VA health clinics. Operators would still staff the crisis hotline and claims workers would still process payments to cover disability and pension benefits. But those veterans appealing the denial of disability benefits to the Board of Veterans Appeals will have to wait longer for a decision because the board would not issue any decisions during a shutdown,” The AP reported.
According to officials with Shawnee State University, who run several federal programs, their programs would be affected by a possible shutdown.
On Friday, Sept. 27, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) issued the following statement about a possible shutdown, “These days, Washington lurches from crisis to crisis, causing damage to the American economy and uncertainty for Ohio businesses and families struggling to get back on their feet during the weakest economic recovery since the 1940s. Washington is not getting its work done–over the past four years, the White House and Congress have not completed a single appropriations bill on time, resulting in Continuing Resolutions and sequestration, throwing the nation into one budget crisis after another.”
At the center for the possible shutdown debate is funding for the Affordable Care Act or ‘Obamacare’.
On Monday afternoon the Senate voted 54 to 46 to reject a bill sent to them by the House of Representatives that would have delayed implementation of the Affordable Care Act for one year among other things.
To avoid a shutdown the Senate and House of Representatives must now try to workout a compromise, which according to most, does not seem likely before the Monday at midnight deadline.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT. The Associated Press contributed to this report.