Government shutdown could affect Lowcountry

Government shutdown could affect Lowcountry (Image 1)

If the federal government does not come to a compromise over the budget, the Lowcountry could feel the effects of a government shutdown.

Dr. Gibbs Knotts, chair of the Political Science Department at the College of Charleston, said that the shutdown could hurt the struggling economy.

“There is uncertainty in the economy. That can be problematic, and it certainly doesn't help that a lot of federal employees aren't getting paychecks and don't have money to spend in the economy,” Knotts said.

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to de-fund the Affordable Healthcare Act. Many lawmakers said they want to work with all politicians on the budget, but they also said they would not negotiate on the funding of “Obamacare.”

Parts of the U.S. government will shutdown on October 1 if a deal is not reached. Gibbs said that shutdown could affect a lot of people and a lot of places.

“If you are a government employee, you have the potential of being furloughed. If you go to a national park, like Fort Moultrie or Fort Sumter, there may not be anybody there. Those facilities could be closed. People will see a difference if the government is shut down,” he said.

What will not stop is Social Security checks and those who work for the U.S. Post Office won't be furloughed. Essential programs, like national defense, will continue despite the shutdown, Gibbs said.

News 2 reached out to SPAWAR to see how they are preparing for the possible shutdown. They declined to comment on how many employees will be affected, but a spokesperson did say they are preparing for the worst. An email sent to Joint Base Charleston asking about the affects of a shutdown have not been returned at this time.

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