The impending shut down of the federal government is expected to have negative consequences for the Chicago area.
The senate voted this afternoon to essentially take the Affordable Care Act out of the budget debate and they sent it back to the house for a vote.
To avoid a shutdown, a deal needs to be in place by midnight or much of the federal government will be closed down come tomorrow morning.
Outside Chicago’s Federal Plaza this afternoon, a handful of government employees rallied to kick congress back into gear and avoid the first federal government shutdown in 17 years
A shutdown could affect more than 780,000 federal employees. While every department takes a hit, the largest number of furloughs could hit the Department of Defense, specifically hundreds of thousands of civilians workers, The Treasury Dept, including the IRS, The Dept of the Interior, closing national parks and monuments, and the Departments of Commerce and Health and Human Services round out the top five.
Today, both sides in congress have given some but not nearly enough to avoid the shutdown. House Republicans, intent on killing the Affordable Care Act all together last week now say they want it delayed. Insurance exchanges are set to begin tomorrow.
“It’s time for the senate to listen to the American people just like the House has listened to the American people and pass a one year delay of Obamacare,” said House Speaker John Boehner.
Democrats say the Affordable Care Act is law, upheld by the Supreme Court and this isn’t the way to go.
Late this afternoon, President Obama weighed in again on the debate.
“I respect the fact that the other party is not supposed to agree with me 100 percent of the time, just like I don’t agree with them. But they do also expect that we don’t bring the entire government to a halt or the entire economy to a halt just because of those differences,” he said.
Locally, the Illinois National Guard could see up to 1300 employees off the job, potentially affecting readiness
For the thousands of other employees on the front lines in Chicago, they hope their voices are heard and soon.
Beyond those employees losing out on pay, there are other tangible ways even the threat of a shutdown is impacting the economy. Every major stock market in the U.S. is down today. Analysts blame shutdown.
Below are the latest numbers on departments and numbers of employees furloughed. Click to enlarge. (Numbers from Office of Management and Budget)