The government shutdown is already wreaking havoc on the lives of Americans.
By Tim Murphy / Mother Jones
The federal government entered shutdown mode at midnight on Monday, after Congress failed to pass a continuing resolution that would keep departments and agencies up and running. Though some Republicans have dismissed the immediate impact of the shutdown, quite a lot of people have already been affected.
Here’s a quick guide:
Kids with cancer: 30 children who were supposed to be admitted for cancer treatment at the National Institute of Health’s clinical center were put on hold, along with 170 adults.
Head Start kids: When a new grant didn’t come in, Bridgeport, Connecticut, closed 13 Head Start facilities serving 1,000 kids. Calhoun County, Alabama, shut down its Head Start program, which serves 800 kids. Some were relocated to a local church.
Pregnant women: Several states had promised to pick up the tab if the US Department of Agriculture stopped funding the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)—but not Arkansas, where 85,000 meals will no longer be provided to low income women and their children.
Babies: 2,000 newborn babies won’t receive baby formula in Arkansas, due to those WIC cuts.
People who help pregnant women and babies: The 16 people who administer the WIC program in Utah will be furloughed—in order to free up money to continue funding the program.
Whales: The Marine Mammal Commission, which monitors whale populations, is on hiatus.
63-year-old Jo Elliott-Blakeslee: The shutdown of Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho has complicated the search for a woman who went missing in the park.
Military suicide prevention: Palm Beach, Florida, television station WPTV profiled Rosemarie Spencer, a contractor with the US Army Suicide Prevention Program who was furloughed on Tuesday.
Virginia: 2,000 workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard were sent home on Tuesday, and commissaries in northeast and southeast Virginia, which provide inexpensive groceries to members of the military, closed on Wednesday.
Firefighters: The Bureau of Land Management’s Little Snake Field Office in Colorado says its ability to respond to a fire is “severely limited.”
Firefighter widows: Heidi Adams, whose husband, Token, was killed investigating a fire in New Mexico last month, won’t receive survivor benefits because there’s no one at the National Forest Service to finalize the paperwork.
Fishermen: National Park Service blocked all access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina.
Domestic-violence centers: Facilities in Vermont and Montana stopped receiving reimbursement payments.
People who eat food: Eight thousand employees at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention were furloughed, including those tasked with monitoring the outbreak of foodborne illnesses.
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Only DOD Commissaries overseas are open. No USA commissaries are open.
Frances O'Neill Zimmerman says
Re closing Cape Hatteras Nation Seashore: probably just as well, as it’s hurricane season. What’s objectionable is the piecemeal attempts to “re-open”segments of the government by the right-wing minority in the House of Representatives. I hope somebody is taking names, so the voters can know who to dump in the coming mid-term elections for Congress.
I don’t think it will make any difference. We can vote out anyone we want but they will only be replaced by the people of the same caliber. Good honest people don’t choose politics as a career choice.
bob dorn says
Shit rises to the top?
Only certain kinds of it.
Who the shutdown isn’t affecting: if you think the fossil fuel companies’ access to public lands should be the same as for the rest of us, you should know that even though the public is barred from public lands, for Big Oil it’s business as usual. Grazing, mining, logging, and oil and gas extraction continue without disruption — even though the shutdown has sent everyone able to enforce regulations designed to protect our lands and wildlife home without pay. If that seems like a double standard, and you want to voice that opinion, Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) has started a petition calling on Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to halt to mining, drilling and other dirty energy extraction activities on federally protected lands while visitors are locked out and employees are home without pay. More info at the CBD web page.