The Paw Print
The government shutdown that began October 1st continues as republicans and democrats debate funding issues to a stalemate. According to CNN, “Senate Democrats could up the ante by filing a bill today that would lift the country’s debt limit and force Republicans to go on record as having voted against it.” As day eight of the shutdown commences, many Americans are wondering exactly how the government in turmoil will affect them. Students who rely on financial aid to enable their higher education may feel particularly vulnerable during this 17th government shutdown in our nation’s history. According to fastweb, “most federal student aid programs will continue to operate during a shutdown. Mainly peripheral functions will be suspended. The issuing of policy guidance and processing of paperwork will be suspended, but automatic and online processing will continue.” Future funding could be affected, but students likely have nothing to worry about, as the longest shutdown in the nation’s history has been only three weeks. Military funding has been another common concern regarding the shutdown. The Christian Science Monitor reports that while contracted civilians are subject to furlough, other military personnel will continue on as normal. Social security and Medicaid will continue, but could face delays if the staff responsible is downsized. The U.S. Postal service will go on as usual because it is self-funded. The Christian Science Monitor also informs that national parks will go out of service for the duration of the shutdown. Federal workers will not get paid through the furloughs, but in previous shutdowns, Congress has voted to back-pay employees. On a final note, it is not the time to apply for a Passport, as the service is considered non-essential. While an important economic indicator, the shutdown is not a reason to panic, but rather to evaluate the officials and policies we have elected to govern our nation.