Government Shutdown Means Yosemite Was Closed on Its Birthday
I don’t know if you noticed this yesterday, but Google celebrated Yosemite’s 123rd birthday by making the park the subject of a doodle on its homepage, but there wasn’t much celebrating going at the actual park, since its closed along with country’s 400 other national parks.
According to the National Park Service Contingency Plan, the closure of the parks is taking place in two phases. During Phase One, “day visitors” were told to immediately leave the parks. Campers and hikers staying overnight are being told to leave the parks as part of Phase Two and all commercial services are also being shut down. The whole process is expected to take four days.
Around 700,000 government employees have been placed on mandatory unpaid leave. This means a major strain on many departments which are now severely understaffed, as well as on the personal finances of the furloughed employees. Following the 1995-1996 shutdowns, all employees who had been furloughed were paid retroactively, but there’s no guarantee that will happen again.
Military employees, including active duty personnel, will not be paid during the shutdown unless Congress takes a separate action to insure that payments are issued. According to Congressman CW Young, who heads the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, “All military personnel will continue to serve and accrue pay but will not actually be paid until appropriations are available.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has substantially reduced their capacity to investigate the outbreak of diseases.
The Internal Revenue Service is not able to perform any audits during a shutdown. The IRS also does not have staff on hand to help people with questions about their taxes.
Federal loans for home buyers and small businesses are suspended during the shutdown. If you think about it, this could have an economic ripple if the shutdown continues for a long time.
Benefits for pensioners and military veterans, while scheduled to be delivered as normal, these could be delayed because there are cutbacks in staff at the offices that process the payments.
National museums and zoos are closed during the shutdown. Without a doubt, a significant blow to tourism.
Garbage collection in the nation’s capital is on hold. Schools and public transportation are still open but services like garbage collection and parking enforcement will not resume until Congress passes a budget.
Buying and selling guns is virtually impossible because the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, which processes permit requests, is facing significant cutbacks.
On the upside, at least one good thing has happened because of the government shutdown. A Ku Klux Klan really set for Saturday has been canceled.
A special-use permit for the rally was issued on September 26th to the Maryland based KKK for Gettysburg National Military Park. However, because of the government shutdown, park officials have rescinded all permits for special events.