A Federal Government Shutdown Would Hurt Hawaii in Many Ways

Adrienne LaFrance/Civil Beat

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Here we go again.

The nation once again faces the possibility of a federal government shutdown. What could it mean for Hawaii?

Salary payments to members of the military could face delays, which would be a particular problem for soldiers who live from one paycheck to the next. People in need of passports would have to wait longer. Many federal workers — including those who took forced furloughs because of sequestration budget cuts earlier this year — could endure more furloughs, which would mean lower annual salaries than they expected.

And, among the many other immediate effects, locations that are served by federal employees, such as national parks, could close. The situation is similar to a barely averted shutdown in 2011 that was expected to furlough approximately 800,000 — nearly 40 percent — of the 2.1 million government employment.

To avoid a partial shutdown of the government, Congress will have to agree on an emergency funding agreement. The prospects for a compromise dimmed Friday when the Republican House tacked an unrelated plan to de-fund Obamacare into its version of a stopgap spending measure. Democrats say that it is a non-starter.

Have feedback? Suggestions?