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How Does The Government Shutdown Affect Pennsylvania?

David Ake
The U.S. Capitol Building is seen on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018.

The federal government's partial shutdown is in effect due to lawmakers’ inability to agree on—among other things—extending DACA, the program that protects young immigrants in the country illegally. 

Senate leaders are expected to vote again at noon Monday on a bill that would reopen the government and funding


The last shutdown happened in 2013, amid fights over the Affordable Care Act.


However, the current shutdown will have implications for many thousands of federal employees in Pennsylvania.


The commonwealth has more than 96,000 such employees total, many of whom will be furloughed without pay for however long the impasse lasts.


There are certain exceptions — such as emergency workers who protect people or property.


JJ Abbott, a spokesman for Governor Tom Wolf, said states have gotten some guidance from the White House on handling a shutdown. However, he said, the effects are still somewhat uncertain.


“At this point in time, Pennsylvania is still assessing the federal situation … we will go through the appropriate analysis to determine impact and next steps,” Abbott said. “Our focus through past shutdowns has been on making sure we deliver services to the citizens of Pennsylvania.”


He noted that depending on how long a shutdown lasts, many federally-funded state programs could be affected.


Also affected are the federal parks, like Valley Forge and Gettysburg. They’ll remain closed unless the state decides to pay to keep them operating.


Federal programs like Social Security, Medicare, and food stamps will continue as usual, though users might see service delays. Delays will also be possible in federal courts and with the IRS, among other things. 

WESA will be surveying Pennsylvania candidates for federal and state office for the 2022 general election — tell us which issues are most important to you.