Government Shutdown

Carissa Rogers / Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/goodncrazy/14262072596/

When a Vietnam War veteran died Christmas Eve with no family nearby, a community of veterans, a friend and military supporters in North Carolina stepped up to make sure he was finally laid to rest with military honors.

Elizabeth Allen / NPR

President Trump is speaking about border security at the White House.

Congress passed a compromise spending measure Thursday to avert a government shutdown that includes some funding for the border barrier.

TSA Officer Tangela Campbell protested outside RDU's Terminal 2 Wednesday, calling for an end to the partial government shutdown
Will Michaels / WUNC

A small group of federal employees in North Carolina held another demonstration on Wednesday, demanding an end to the partial government shutdown.

EPA, Volunteer, Government shutdown
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

How is the partial government shutdown affecting North Carolinians? The federal impasse is in its fourth week with no end in sight. President Donald Trump demands funding for a wall along the southern border of the United States and says the shutdown could last months or even years

canned food at food bank
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

It has been nearly four weeks since the partial government shutdown began. It has blocked pay and benefits for federal workers and those who depend on federal programs.

One of the many disruptive - but more discreet - effects of the shutdown for North Carolinians has to do with where some people will get their next meal.

EPA, Volunteer, Government shutdown
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The partial government shutdown is in its third week. While thousands of furloughed federal workers are affected in North Carolina, some from the Environmental Protection Agency are keeping busy as volunteers.

In this Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 file photo, Vice President Mike Pence, center, listens as President Donald Trump argues with House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington.
Evan Vucci / AP Photo

Will there be a government shutdown? President Donald Trump held a televised meeting this week with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to talk about immigration. Trump promised to shut down the government if Democrats do not agree to his demand of $5 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The NC National Guard responds to New York after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
The National Guard / Flickr Creative Commons

More than a hundred North Carolina Air and Army National Guard units are trying to reschedule training time they missed during the government shutdown. 

That amounts to about 6,400 troops who could not conduct three weekend drills earlier this month.  Maj. Matthew Devivo says a short lapse in funding was enough to make conducting drills impossible.

"That's operational funds.  That's maintenance funds.  We couldn't move equipment to do training and we couldn't feed the soldiers who would come to drill," Devivo says.

photo of Congress
Lawrence Jackson, whitehouse.gov.

North Carolina’s congressional delegation has been in the spotlight in recent weeks as Democrats and Republicans in Washington have argued over shutting down the government, the Affordable Care Act, and raising the debt ceiling. 

The idea for the shutdown came from Republican Representative Mark Meadows of the Eleventh District, whose aim was to try to dismantle Obamacare. But not all the Republican members of the North Carolina delegation agreed with the tactic.

photo of Congress
Lawrence Jackson, whitehouse.gov.

  

Wednesday night, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.

Wikimedia

During the government shutdown, North Carolina became the first state to cut funding for the social welfare programs WIC and TANF. And while Governor Pat McCrory pushed to reopen the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the status of many social services still hung in the balance. Host Frank Stasio talks with, Christina Gibson-Davis, a professor of public policy and sociology at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, about the cuts to social services.

Wikimedia

  

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The Capitol Building On First Day Of Federal Government Shutdown
http://www.flickr.com/photos/divaknevil/ / flickr.com

Many organizations that help the disabled get jobs in North Carolina are not working during the government shutdown. 

The state Department of Health and Human Services sent a letter to 140 groups last week, telling them there's no federal money to pay their contracts.

Smaller providers like the Arc of North Carolina are using their own funds to push through the shutdown. Arc gives work assistance to about 60 people at a time.

City of Raleigh

North Carolina banks say the ongoing government shutdown means many mortgage applications are idle.

The Internal Revenue Service usually sends tax records to mortgage lenders to verify a client's income, but IRS workers are among the federal employees who are in their 14th day of mandatory furloughs.  Banks are still processing mortgages, but taking a risk if they approve them.

Teachers at North Carolina's military bases are preparing for up to five furlough days due to cuts from the sequester
Fort Bragg

Civilian employees at North Carolina's military bases are back at work after four furlough days from the government shutdown. 

The recall comes after the Department of Defense said this weekend a stop-gap budget law that keeps the military funded during the shutdown includes civilian workers.  Most of the 800 civilian employees who were furloughed from Camp Lejeune are back at work after the DOD reviewed the language in the Pay Our Military Act.

The Capitol Building On First Day Of Federal Government Shutdown
http://www.flickr.com/photos/divaknevil/ / flickr.com

  

The EPA campus in Research Triangle Park
Environmental Protection Agency / epa.gov

Employees who work for government contractors are among those who are not working during the shutdown. 

Federal agencies contract out duties from on-site cafeterias to janitorial services.  Tony Marshall is president and CEO of a company in Raleigh called Innovative Systems Group, which had an $852,437 contract with the Environmental Protection Agency to run a green shuttle service at its campus in Durham. 

He says he had to send home four hourly drivers and a project manager this week.

EPA Workers
Leoneda Inge

One of the largest EPA offices outside of Washington DC is in Research Triangle Park.  That means some 2,000 employees are at home and not working during the government shut-down.  But on Tuesday, a few dozen EPA workers could be found spending their un-wanted time off doing community service. 

Altumnal via of mountains (fall)
steviep187 via flickr

  

Just because you don’t work for the federal government does not mean you are immune from the effects of the shutdown.

Tourism in North Carolina could be particularly hard hit by National Park Services closures. Host Frank Stasio speaks with News & Observer reporter Martha Quillin; and Phil Francis, former superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway about the effect of the shutdown on tourism along the coast and in the mountains.