Federal shutdown affects Bolivar Countians
Oct 01, 2013 | 2774 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Don't bother calling, President Obama's cell phone is turned off — the United States Government has officially shut down and all federal businesses are closed until further notice.

Around 800,000 workers will be going without pay as of midnight today and the economy will be losing close to $1 billion a week.

Bolivar County Administrator Will Hooker said, "One of the things is that the county works very closely with federal agents such as USDA, as well as the Bolivar County Community Action Agency, Inc.

"USDA provides a lot of local services such as home improvements and rural needs of the community, including water systems.

"One of the biggest impacts that we are having is that the local rural development office will not be operating. When you look at the community action center, there are a lot of social service programs, which are funded through that agency.

"As things continue to be shut down, it could have an impact on a lot of the federal programs from Head Start to many more.

"We are hoping here, at the county, that things are rectified because it has a major impact on our local citizens," he said.

Miss. Sen. Willie Simmons believes that only time will tell in regards to how heavy the impact will be on the state.

"It will certainly have an impact on the country and the state; it just depends on how long we are in this situation," said Simmons.

"Other programs in the state could be impacted it just depends on how long the government is shut down. Some employees that work within the state for the federal government will not be terminated but will be furloughed because the government can not be reassured that it will have monies to pay them.

"We'll just have to wait and see," said Simmons.

Cleveland Mayor Billy Nowell believes that the entire situation is an unfortunate one.

"It's not productive for anybody. It will only cost the taxpayers that much more but shutting down like that. It's a shame they can't get their heads together on what should be done," said Nowell.

LeMia B. Jenkins, press secretary/legislative assistant for Congressman Bennie G. Thompson, “Those employees deemed "non-essential" will simply go home, it is unclear now whether these employees will be paid. The last time the government shutdown Congress later agreed to pay these employees retroactively when the government was reopened.

“Today in Mississippi our eight national parks are closed, passport and gun permit processing has ceased and military personnel will continue to serve and accrue pay but will not actually be paid until appropriations are available. The Jackson Veterans Administration hospital and its seven community based clinics will remain open.

“WIC, a federal program that provides nutritional food and services for pregnant women, infants and children will no longer receive funding. However, the Mississippi State Department of Health's 95 WIC distribution centers will remain open until further notice.

“A government shutdown does not save taxpayers money. In fact, in 1995-96 it costs the government $1.4 billion.

“A short shutdown will shave decimal points off of economic growth, but a sustained shutdown of three or four weeks would do significant economic damage.”

According to Jenkins Thompson has said, "The people of the Second Congressional District and of this nation should not be punished due to political posturing. I demand my Republican colleagues to end this ‘CR to nowhere’ ping pong game and do the work their constituencies elected them to do."

New Jersey Rep. Rush Holt has created a list of how the shut down will effect citizens.

The critical services that will not cease are Social Security checks for seniors, people with disabilities and survivors would still go out. But new Social Security applications will likely not be processed.

Troops would continue to serve, though their pay could be put on hold. Critical homeland security functions such as border security would continue.

The Postal Service, which is self-funded, will continue to operate.

The FAA would keep the air traffic control system open and safe.

However, some services that are affected include unemployment benefits: the federal funds that help states pay the costs of their unemployment programs could be affected depending on the length of the shutdown.

While VA hospitals will remain open, veterans' benefits could be delayed or reduced, as was the case during the last shutdown.

National parks and the National Wildlife Refuge Systems would be among the first places to close if the government shuts down.

Passport and visa applications will not be processed. In the 1996 shutdown, over 200,000 passport applications and 30,000 daily visa applications went unprocessed.

IRS processing of tax refunds for some returns would be suspended.

FHA new home loan guarantees may cease.

Small Business Administraion approval of applications for business loan guarantees and direct loans to small businesses would likely cease, impacting the engines of our economy and potentially slowing the economic recovery.

Farm loans and farm payments would cease.

National museums, including the Smithsonian Institution, would close in the event of a government shutdown.

Access to the U.S. Capitol: Guide and staff-led tours of the Capitol will be canceled. The House Gallery will remain open. The White House website will also not be updated.