Shutdown Impact on San Diego - NBC 7 San Diego

Shutdown Impact on San Diego



    There figures to be a greater proportion of fallout from a government shutdown in San Diego than most communities.

    This area's 150,000 military personnel and Defense Department civilian workers are considered essential but some of the 50,000 others on Uncle Sam's payroll could be affected. Along with the constituents they serve.

    Without an agreement between Congress and the Obama administration, a shutdown of much of the federal government will happen at midnight Friday.

    The last time the Feds shut down, 15 years ago, unpaid furloughs were rampant, as were uncompensated hours that many employees still had to work.

    Government Shutdown

    [DGO] Government Shutdown
    There figures to be a greater proportion of fallout from a government shutdown here in San Diego than most communities.
    (Published Thursday, April 7, 2011)

    Once again, some customer-oriented programs would be subject to delays.

    Most problematic, those involving money that's needed to avoid hardships.

    "'We, the people' elected these people, and entrusted our belief in them to keep this country running smoothly,” said Pacific Beach resident Vikki Hoots. “Not to get us into the dire dregs we are going through right now."

    Armed Services members could expect at least one week's paycheck if there's a government shutdown Friday.

    But a second, and more after that, would depend on another continuing resolution from Congress.

    A lot of federal employees face the prospect of unpaid furloughs. Taxpayers, who filed paper returns, could see delays in getting refunds.

    Darwin Quebada, Bonita Resident, is due for an IRS refund this eyar.

    “The delays are going to back up a lot of important bills to be paid,"Quebada said.

    Already, for the last three weeks under continuing resolutions, payments to court-appointed attorneys and support personnel have been frozen.

    "Folks that depend solely on appointed cases are really starting to feel the pinch,” said attorney and legal analyst John Kirby. “It 's not just the attorneys. It's also the interpreters. It's also the investigators. Anybody who gets payments from the Criminal Justice Act."

    Seniors eligible for Social Security would be subject to processing delays in new applications for benefits.

    Recipients already enrolled in the system say it's tough enough to navigate the bureaucracy as it is.

    "We wouldn't eat for three weeks,” said Social Security recipient Les Weyant of Ocean Beach. “I mean, you've got to pay your bills, you've got to pay your rent. And if we don't have that money for three weeks, we don't eat."

    Delays also are expected in processing passports and visas. FHA home loans would not be guaranteed. National parks, monuments and museums would close.

    The federal share of unemployment benefits would fall onto the cash-strapped states.

    Quite a recipe for disruption and disillusionment with Uncle Sam.

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