Up against one last deadline, Congress raced to pass legislation Wednesday avoiding a threatened national default and ending a 16-day partial government shutdown.
The plan that would fund the government through Jan. 15 and allow the Treasury to increase the nation's borrowing authority through Feb. 7.
However, one San Diego financial expert warns that even if U.S. lawmakers resolve the threat to the nation’s credit rating in the next 24 or 48 hours, damage has still been done.
Dan Seiver, San Diego State University Economist and Finance Professor, said that even if the U.S. resolves this economic threat, we have done further damage to our credit rating.
“It’s going to affect everybody. Everybody in this country,” Seiver said. “Everybody who pays taxes because the government borrows a lot of money.”
Even if you’re completely insulated, the businesses you deal with will have to pay more Seiver said, and they will pass the cost on to you.
“No one is immune,” he said.
The deal - scheduled for vote in the Senate first before the House - would end the bitter standoff for now.
The government shutdown that began Oct. 1 initially idled about 800,000 workers, but that soon fell to about 350,000 after Congress agreed to let furloughed Pentagon employees return to work.
William Banks of the Defense Commissary Agency in San Diego has been retired since 2004. He said he fielded calls every day from members asking for help paying rent, utility or grocery bills.
“I know for a fact it has impacted a lot of people,” Banks told NBC 7.
Anthony Howard is President of a local American Federation of Government Employees and a full-time employee at the Defense Commissary Agency. He supervises 1,000 employees at the agency and said the shutdown hurt some employees a lot and prompted several to apply for government assistance.
“Several of them are part-time employees and so it hurt them a lot, and a lot of them were even applying for assistance because they were unable to take care of their families properly,” he said.
Howard says it won’t be a total weight off his shoulders if the government shutdown ends Wednesday night since it’s only expected to be a temporary solution. He said he doesn’t want his colleagues to struggle through something like that all over again.
Norrie Robbins, a retired federal employee, said the shutdown has been difficult for those living in costly cities such as San Diego.
“This is a town where you can’t afford to miss a paycheck. It’s just way too expensive,” she said, adding that federal contractors and staff don’t really want to talk about the shutdown.
“You keep your mouth shut during all of the political processes and it gets engrained in you and you keep your mouth shut,” she said.
While there was widespread inconvenience, the mail was delivered, Medicare continued to pay doctors who treated seniors and there was no interruption in Social Security benefits.