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Citizens Look at the Local Impact of a Government Shutdown

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The clock is ticking with one week left to pass a federal budget. While politicians bicker in Washington many are watching and waiting to see the impact here in the Ozarks and in the state.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The clock is ticking with one week left to pass a federal budget. While politicians bicker in Washington many are watching and waiting to see the impact here in the Ozarks and in the state.

No budget agreement means the federal government could shut down October 1. That would mean closed doors, stalled jobs or delayed paychecks for federal workers in the state.

The rolling hills of Wilson's Creek National Battlefield are about as far as you can get from the political bickering in Washington.

That's one of the reasons Ron Johnson likes to walk here each week.

"Nobody listens, they don't listen to one another." Johnson said of Washington politicians

But, Washington's problems could become Ron Johnson's. A federal shutdown means more than 300 federal parks, including Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, would be closed.

"I think it's sad and I think it would be tragic,” says Johnson. “I think it's a sad fact that in our system that compromise had become a dirty word and that the two political parties hate each other to such a level that they refuse to get along."

Refusing to get along could mean time off for federal workers who have already endured six days of furloughs.

"The Missouri National Guard is affected by our federal government's budget," says Major Tamara Spicer.

Spicer says they are counting on a last minute measure from these politicians.

"They apply a stop gap measure called a Continuing Resolution Authority, a CRA, and what that does it allows us to continue our mission as operationally necessary as usual,” says Spicer.

If that doesn’t happen, however, services would have to be categorized in an extreme way.

"In the extreme condition neither a budget or a CRA is agreed to by the end of the fiscal year, we would get guidance from the Department of Defense, Department of the Army and we would differentiate between essential services and non-essential services. Then non-essential employees would not come to work and they would not get paid."

Spicer says whatever the politics in Washington decide, the guard will still protect the state.

"The Missouri National Guard would still continue to provide essential services regardless of a budget or CRA,” says Spicer.

The Congressional Research service says two previous federal government shutdowns in 1995 and 1996 cost the country $1.4 billion.

If you want to contact your lawmaker you can use the information below.


MISSOURI

Congressman Billy Long (7th District)
 
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (4th District)
 
Congressman Jason Smith (8th District)
 
Senator Roy Blunt
 
Senator Claire McCaskill
 


ARKANSAS


Congressman Steve Womack (3rd District)
 
Congressman Rick Crawford (1st District)
 
Senator Mark Pryor
 
Senator John Boozman

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