Great Falls Tribune: Montanans would feel government shutdown

A federal government shutdown would close Glacier National Park and other federal recreation sites, delay federally funded road projects that need environmental impact statements and freeze home purchases backed by the government.

It would not stop the mail, close Veterans Affairs hospitals or interrupt Social Security checks from going to the elderly and disabled.

Military personnel at Malmstrom Air Force Base and scores of other sites would be required to stay on the job — without pay — as would hundreds of thousands of other federal workers deemed “essential.”

As of December, Montana had more than 10,000 federal workers, including park rangers, border patrol agents and Indian Health Service nurses, according to the Office of Personnel Management. It’s unclear how many of them would stay on the job during a shutdown because most agencies haven’t announced which workers they deem essential.

Federal officials have begun preparing for a shutdown and all of its consequences as Congress works to find a compromise that would keep the lights on beyond midnight tonight, when the current spending bill expires.

Read the whole article >>