Federal government shuts down for the first time in 17 years
POSTED: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 8:02am
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 6:00pm
Local, national impact
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — It's official: As of 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, the federal government shut down for the first time in 17 years. Lawmakers in Washington worked late into the night with no resolution on a budget to keep the government running.
Military personnel will continue to get paid. A last-minute bill signed by President Obama two hours before the deadline Monday night extended military salaries into 2014.
Monday night President Obama recorded a video message to the American military and Department of Defense personnel stationed around the world who will be impacted by the government shutdown.
"As President and your Commander in Chief, I've worked to make sure you have the strategy, the resources and the support you need to complete the missions our nation asks of you. Every time, you've met your responsibilities and performed with extraordinary professionalism, skill and courage," the president said, and added, "Those of you in uniform will remain on your normal duty status. The threats to our national security have not changed, and we need you to be ready for any contingency. If you're serving in harm's way, we're going to make sure you have what you need to succeed in your missions."
Fort Bliss and William Beaumont Army Medical Center will remain open, but representative said they will have to furlough thousands of civilian employees.
Mail delivery and food stamp benefits will continue. According to the Texas Tribune, Texas Department of State Health Services Spokeswoman Carrie Williams said the Women, Infants and Children Program, WIC, will continue uninterrupted for now. However, there could be cash flow issues in the coming weeks. In other states, WIC funding will run out in the next few days.
Social Security payments will continue, but civilian furloughs could result in delays. Passports and visas will also go unprocessed, along with gun permits.
Local closures that are a direct result of the federal shutdown include the Chamizal National Memorial in South El Paso, Carlsbad National Park and Guadalupe National park closed starting Tuesday.
Congressman Beto O'Rourke posted his frustration on his Facebook page that read, in part, " This is in an abdication of one of our most fundamental responsibilities to pay our bills and fund the government."
Congressman Pete Gallego also tweeted about the shutdown, "@petegallego: 1:30am. Just leaving US Capitol. Appropriately wore black today in mourning for the death of common sense in the US Congress."
Democrats and Republicans are at odds over the Affordable Care Act. In spite of the disagreement, signups for insurance through health exchanges as part of Affordable Care Act started Tuesday.