Today is day three of the government shutdown. Something that hasn't happened since 1995/1996. Approximately 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed, lights are off at many government offices, but what specifically does this mean for Missouri and Macon?
"The government is just not doing its job," said Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) during a press conference call. "And it can't be helpful for the Missourians who work for the federal government to either not be paid or not know whether they are going to get paid."
One group of individuals hit locally are those at the U.S. Department of Agriculture office. If you call, there will be a recording that basically states the same as their website: "due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available."
Additionally, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Long Branch have been shut down, meaning the Long Branch Visitor Center facility will remain closed until the federal budget is passed. All federal employees who work at the Long Branch Project Office, with exception to one who will be responsible for dam safety and security, have been furloughed. The campground, picnic shelters and ramp facilities will not be affected because they are operated by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
According to a release from the Missouri National Guard, they will remain mission-ready even during this shutdown. However, when the local armory was contacted, there was no answer.
"Under all circumstances, including this government shutdown, the Missouri National Guard is prepared and able to respond to state emergency missions as ordered by Governor Jay Nixon," said Major General Steve Danner.
And our hospital seems to be untouched for now.
"There should not be any effect on Medicare and Medicaid payments to any hospitals which is the majority of business they do with the Federal Government," said Samaritan Hospital Administrator Bern Orman. "If it lasts long term it may begin to have some impact that we have not yet thought of."
But how long will this shutdown last?
"I think if it doesn't end in the next couple of days it won't end until both the debt limit and intermediate-term funding question is resolved," said Blunt. "I think it shouldn't have happened, but it has."