How the government shutdown could affect Valley agencies

September 30, 2013 3:16:07 PM PDT
A number of federally funded agencies operating out of the Central Valley are bracing to take a hit ahead of the looming government shutdown. Many local agencies including post offices that distribute passports will close due to the potential shutdown.

The Woodward Park post office is only one of three post offices around Fresno where you can apply for a passport. Fresno resident Steve Allen said he was happy he got to the post office before the possible government shutdown.

"I have noticed a steady stream of people coming in here today. They all would have been turned away," Allen said.

If lawmakers don't make a compromise the counter at the Woodward Park post office will close.

"It's going to be a process because right now we are going into October and everybody is thinking about their Thanksgiving and Christmas travels," Johanna Ortega with the Woodward Park post office said.

The government shutdown will also affect home mortgages for first time homebuyers that are backed by the government. The shutdown could slow the entire process for those wishing to buy a house.

The federally funded WIC program provides food, health care referrals, and nutrition education to women and kids. Those services will also stop. About 800,000 federal workers who are considered non-essential will be furloughed. That includes some staff members at the local IRS office.

President Barack Obama addressed how the impasse could also close national parks. "Tourists will find every one of America's national parks and monuments from Yosemite to Smithsonian to The Statue of Liberty Immediately closed."

Social Security checks, Medicare and Medicaid benefits will still be distributed. And most departments of Veteran's Affairs Services will continue including care at Fresno's VA.

"We already got the dollars from congress to be able to be able to provide healthcare to our veterans. We will hear a lot about whether or not there is a government shutdown. If there is or isn't we will be open for business," Ortega said.

If the government shutdown happens workers at federally funded agencies will be furloughed. Several of the worker said they are concerned because they won't be paid, and they are not sure if they will get any back pay.


Load Comments