4/25/2014

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How will government shutdown impact citizens on the Palouse

How will government shutdown impact citizens on the Palouse
MOSCOW, ID - This federal government shutdown is the first in 17 years, and as you would expect, people everywhere are questioning how it affects them.

Palouse Reporter Rachel Dubrovin explains what happened the last time the government shutdown, and how it will impact people locally.

"The American people sent us here to govern," said US President Barack Obama. "They sent us here to make sure that we're doing everything we can to make their lives a little bit better."

On Monday, President Barack Obama expressed his discontent with congress' inability to agree on a bill to fund the government.

"The idea of putting the American People's hard earned progress at risk is the height of irresponsibility," said Obama.

Regardless of the President's strong words, the federal government shut down Tuesday morning and organizations like the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Pullman posted signs explaining why they're closed.

"I don't think most people will see an impact today or tomorrow, but gradually over time, those impacts will become more apparent to people," said Washington State University Political Science Professor Travis Ridout.

Ridout explains that the last time the federal government shutdown was in 1995, when congress couldn't pass a budget. He said this shutdown is a little different.

"It's a dispute over a continuing resolution to basically fund the government at current levels for another few weeks, another few months, until they can work out the details of a budget," said Ridout.

Ridout said if this shutdown lasts as long as the previous one, it could be a couple weeks before the government is back up-and-running. But, he says most of the local population won't notice a difference in their day to day lives.

"It's just when those situations come up over time and you need something from government and those government employees aren't there to answer your questions or to process that application, that's when the frustration level is going to rise," said Ridout.

We do want to let you know the U.S. Postal Service is unaffected by the government shutdown. The service operates on postage stamps and postal fees.

If you have questions about which government services are still available, you can visit USA.gov.
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