What the government shutdown means to SWFL
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The clock is ticking to midnight when the federal government will shutdown if Congress fails to pass a new spending bill, but what does it all mean for Southwest Florida?
Slow and steady
The process of a government shutdown is just that - a process. Very little impact will be seen right away.
Everyday things like getting a new passport or a gun permit could take longer than normal because of backlogs created by furloughed federal workers.
What gets the ax first?
The one thing that you can expect to change tomorrow is a complete shutdown of federal parks and preserves, like the J.N. "Ding" Darling National wildlife refuge on Sanibel.
Fox 4 spoke with the director of the refuge today by phone as he prepared to close the refuge.
"We'd be closed," said Paul Tritaik, the director of the refuge. "They wouldn't be able to access the refuge. They would have to just wait until the government reopens. All of them would be furloughed, which means they would not be able to work at all."
Non-essential government employees will also be furloughed until Congress can reach a budget agreement.
- Mail services
- Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment benefits
- Food safety inspections
- WIC, Food stamps
- VA services, VA loans