Congressional leaders and President Obama have until the clock strikes midnight Friday to finish negotiations on an agreement to fund the federal government without a shutdown.
Patch wanted to get a sense for what that really means in Creve Coeur. Here's what we've learned:
- City impact: spokeswoman Melissa Weiss says city officials are not anticipating any impact on programs or projects which would require federal funding.
- Post Office: The United States Postal Service is funded independent of the federal government, so business would continue as usual. However, the U.S. State Department tells Creve Coeur Patch a passport fair scheduled for Saturday at the will not be held in the event of a government shutdown.
- Student Aid: In a statement to Patch, Dean of Enrollment Services, Terry Dale Cruse said: "While government shutdowns may impact the disbursement of student loans, the impact on MBU would be minimal. We have disbursed over 95% of our Spring loans. A shutdown would likely be over within a week, and our students would resume normal services."
- Social Security: Our call to the West St. Louis County office for the office in Creve Coeur was directed to a regional office in Kansas City, and then onto another office in Washington, D.C., which has not been returned. The Associated Press is among outlets reporting that "payments would continue to be delivered and applications for benefits would continue to be processed." Late Friday afternoon the agency released its plan for a possible shutdown (see attached PDF file). It said "front line" workers would not be impacted, but that office hours could be limited and laid out the types of services, including scheduling a hearing or getting a replacement social security card, as among the functions unavailable to the public in the event of a shutdown.
- Hospitals: Patch reached out to and representatives. A BJC spokeswoman forwarded information received from the Missouri Hospitals Association, which indicates healthcare programs funded through Medicare would continue, but that the Department of Health would not issue new grants during a shutdown.
"We've been watching carefully," Governor Jay Nixon told a Wentzville Patch reporter after a Friday afternoon press conference at the city's Water Reclamation Center. "Our hope is that they can get an arrangement worked out."
The State of Missouri has a two-week contingency plan in place in the event of a federal shutdown.
"We're well prepared and have a plan to keep the services that Missouri citizens need," Nixon said.
The shutdown would only begin to affect Missouri after two weeks pass, Nixon said. At that point, public services funded in part by federal monies, such as law enforcement and mental health facilities, may be affected.