Will you be affected by a partial government shutdown if it happens? Thousands in Maryland will.
If Congress doesn't reach an agreement on a government funding measure soon, there will be a partial government shutdown on Tuesday. While it's not yet clear what will happen, Patch asked Maryland readers on Patch Facebook pages what they thought the local impact would be.
Allison Ehrman, who is a military contractor along with her husband, shared the guidance they received from their employers on Bel Air Patch’s Facebook page.
“Best case scenario, we will lose our vacation time,” she wrote. “Worst case, we'll lose pay and possibly our jobs if it were to drag out, which I doubt will happen. And government workers don't ‘refuse to work’ during a shutdown. They cannot work by law. The Army at APG had to use military police to make sure Army employees weren't working during the sequester furloughs because so many of them wanted to just stay at their desks and get their work done - even without pay.”
Another reader responded on Bel Air Patch’s Facebook page that sometimes it’s not a matter of whether an employee wants to work if they are categorized as essential personnel.
“Federal employees can't work. Even worse, if deemed essential, they HAVE to report WITHOUT PAY,” wrote Lindsay Weszka Boone. “So for all those who think this shutdown is a joke, it's not. Families will be without financial stability for an undisclosed amount of time. Who wants that?”
Rita Mansfield expressed outrage on Bel Air Patch’s Facebook page.
“Military members, their families, and veterans thrown under the bus again because of partisan politics,” she wrote. “We should throw EVERYONE out of office.....both political parties. Total disgrace!”
James Miller wrote on Havre de Grace Patch’s Facebook page: “People may wise up and vote all the Democrats out of office.”
“All I know is , if it happens it will be because of the Democrat Party, not the GOP,” wrote Ken Lawrence on Anne Arundel Patch’s Facebook page.
The potential shutdown would occur as a result of congressional wrangling over efforts to defund the Affordable Care Act.
Some residents responded that any such shutdown will force a change in habits as people struggle to keep their lives stable.
“With half our family's income in jeopardy for an uncertain time frame, this means less discretionary funds spent locally (our preferred locale),” wrote Julie L. Kizer Ball on Annapolis Patch’s Facebook page.
“I would be staying home and not spending any money! Just made it through the furlough and now this...very frustrated with Congress!” wrote Ivan Walters on Aberdeen Patch’s Facebook page.
Many expressed concern for local businesses and plan to be more resourceful.
“People saving rather than spending...may hurt the local businesses,” wrote Lisa Morgret Arthur on Bel Air Patch’s Facebook page.
“Less money will be spent at our local stores and restaurants,” wrote Jenny Boddy Spriggs on Crofton Patch’s Facebook page. “We are still recovering from the furlough and now they want to take more! I can tell you my family has no plans to eat out or do any shopping outside the basics.”
Ryan Weitzel wrote on Havre de Grace’s Facebook page, “Well, I'm sure there will be less people shopping and probably forcing people to be a little more conservative all around. Good thing hunting season is in so we can cut down on buying meat at the grocery store!”
Others tried to remain positive—even hopeful—and wrote that if the shutdown does occur, it won’t last long.
“Sick of this 'fear tactic' but mostly sick of those who believe it,” wrote Carole Garrett Williams on Aberdeen Patch’s Facebook page. “The government is not going to shut down.”See related stories: