OLYMPIA — As the House and Senate continue to battle over a budget compromise, the impact of a potential government shutdown on Washington state would be varied.
Here’s a look at how services in the state would or would not be affected if Congress fails to reach an agreement by midnight Monday.
Health care overhaul: In spite of the fact that funding of the health care law is at the center of the budget battle in Congress, implementation of key parts of the law begin Tuesday regardless of whether there is a shutdown or not. The Democratic-led Senate on Monday rejected conditions House Republicans had added to a temporary spending bill, and stripped a one-year delay in President Barack Obama’s health care law from the bill.
Mail: Deliveries would continue as usual. The U.S. Postal Service relies on income from stamps and other postal fees to keep running and receives no tax dollars for day-to-day operations.
Recreation: All national parks would be closed, as well as national monuments like Mount St. Helens, and Forest Service ranger stations would be closed. Visitors using overnight campgrounds or other park facilities would be given 48 hours to make alternate arrangements and leave the park.
Unemployment benefits: The Employment Security Department said that it will continue paying unemployment benefits through this week, but said that it is uncertain whether officials would be able to maintain that if a federal shutdown continued into next week.
National Guard: Fulltime active guardsman will not be furloughed, but roughly 1,000 federal technicians, including vehicle and aircraft maintenance, computer technicians and human resources personnel would be furloughed starting Tuesday, according to Karina Shagren, spokeswoman for the state Department of the Military. Shagren said that if a government shutdown is not averted, employees have been told to come in on Tuesay to receive further instructions.