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Effects of government shutdown will be felt locally

October 2, 2013

Road and bridge repairs, like those recently made on Coventry's Gen. Nathanael Greene Bridge, could cease thanks to the government shutdown. File Photo.

PROVIDENCE— Because Congress could not come to an agreement regarding the budget, a partial government shutdown went into effect at midnight Monday, affecting thousands of government workers and departments.

The shutdown occurred because House Republicans wanted the Senate to go along with their demand for a year delay on Obamacare. In the budget, Republicans wrote in a provision that would de-fund the health care.

In turn, the Senate rejected the provision and the debate continued back and forth until the deadline passed at midnight Tuesday.

Because of the partial government shutdown, many departments and workers in Rhode Island will be affected. Approximately $2.6 billion of the state’s budget comes from the federal government.

The shutdown, if prolonged, would stop the Small Business Administration from providing business credit and could halt construction work on bridges and roads.

According to the National Park Service website, as of Tuesday, all national parks and wildlife reserves have been closed to the public, including the Roger Williams National Memorial on Main Street in Providence.

Many agencies that process applications such as federal grants, veterans’ benefit checks and gun permits may face delays in their services to the public.

Essential government employees however, will remain at work, including air traffic controllers, Border Patrol and food inspectors.

Active-duty military members will still receive paychecks as well.

The Postal Service will continue to run, because it is self-funded and residents will continue to receive their Social Security benefits and Medicare and Medicaid.

Coventry Town Manager Thomas Hoover explained that he did not see an immediate effect on the town or its departments but delays may be seen on various construction projects.

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