The impact on Massachusetts if the federal government shuts down

A small crowd from the group 'Budget for All' gathered outside the offices of the Massachusetts Republican Party in Boston Monday to protest the looming goverment shutdown. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
A small crowd from the group ‘Budget for All’ gathered outside the offices of the Massachusetts Republican Party in Boston Monday to protest the looming goverment shutdown. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

Thousands of senior citizens and military families as well as small businesses and national park service sites in Massachusetts could be put in limbo if the federal government ceased to function Tuesday due to funding disputes over President Barack Obama’s health care law. 

About 29,000 federal employees in Massachusetts could be furloughed, according to Giselle Barry, a spokeswoman for U.S. Senator Ed Markey, who last week released an analysis warning against a government shut down.

“It is not a good option, particularly for Massachusetts,” said Barry. “Hundreds of thousands of residents would have services and benefits shut off, and it would impact military members, and small business loans. It would certainly be noticeable.”

Unless the two branches of Congress come together by midnight Tuesday, much of the federal government will cease to be funded and essentially shut down until a spending bill is passed.

According to Markey’s analysis, nearly 1.2 million recipients of social security in Massachusetts could be denied services because of the shutdown, and applications for new benefits would be delayed.

Furthermore, 25,000 military members and their families could have their pay delayed, and college students could be without their loans as long as the government is closed. Any extended shutdown may also impact the roughly 198,000 residents who receive help from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told yesterday called the idea of a shutdown “foolish.”

“A government shutdown is an avoidable and foolish thing, and I hope that the hard right gets responsible before the end of the day,” Patrick said. Asked what the implications would be next year, an election year, Patrick said, “I hope that there are consequences for it. But I don’t know. American politics is still something I’m learning.”

In addition to its financial effects, a shut down would also close 18 national parks and historic sites across the state, including Boston’s Faneuil Hall, John F. Kennedy’s birthplace, and the Adams National Historical Park.

“You’ll find padlocks on the doors to the monuments,” said Sean Hennessey, public affairs officer for the Boston National Historic Park. He said the Boston office employs about 100 people and all but about 15 staff, generally law enforcement, would be furloughed in the event of a federal government shutdown.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…