For federal employees and those reliant on the services of the government, the recent shutdown is a serious problem in the operation of day-to-day life.
For West Chester, however, the shutdown isn’t expected to impact local services in the short term.
“Essentially, the federal government has no responsibility for any local services,” West Chester mayor Carolyn Comitta said. “All local offices, parks and services will carry on.”
Indeed, for those not directly employed by the federal government or directly involved in one of its programs, the government shutdown might not have a specific impact in West Chester. Even with the government non-operational, specific services, like the U.S. Postal Service, will still operate.
Here is a breakdown of what federal services will still be operational during the shutdown:
- Military – Active duty personnel will be paid because of a last-minute Congressional agreement. However, many civilian defense employees will likely be furloughed.
- Border Patrol – The Border Patrol will remain on the job, but staff may not be paid on schedule.
- FBI – The Federal Bureau of Investigation is considered essential and will continue to operate, but staff might not be paid on schedule.
- Airports – Air traffic control and security screening will continue, but staff might not be paid on schedule.
- Social Security -- Payments will continue as scheduled, but applications for new benefits may be delayed.
- Medicare -- Medical treatment will continue, but applications for new benefits and payments to doctors may be delayed.
- Veterans – Disability compensation and pension payments to veterans will cease after two or three weeks.
- Courts – The federal courts have funding for approximately two weeks of operation and will then begin to shut down.
- Weather Forecasts – The employees of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are considered essential and will stay at work.
Parks – All national parks,
including Valley Forge National Park and the Liberty Bell exhibit in
Philadelphia, will be closed to the public.
- Energy – Employees of the Department of Energy who oversee the nation's nuclear arsenal and power plants like the Limerick Power Plant will stay at work.
- Environment – The Environmental Protection Agency will essentially shut down.
- NASA – The space agency will furlough most employees and stop work on most space-related activities, according to Space.com.
- Home Loans – The Federal Housing Administration, which guarantees about a third of home mortgages, will not approve any new loan applications.
- IRS – The Internal Revenue Service will furlough most staff and cease audits, examinations of returns, processing of paper returns, and answering questions for taxpayers.
- U.S. Mail – The Postal Service is self-supporting and will continue to operate.