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
Local

Chestnut Hill College student found dead Wednesday morning

A 22-year-0ld Chestnut Hill College student was found dead this morning inside a college dormitory, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 www.philaphotoarts.org Join Philadelphia…

Arts

Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

Wellbeing

Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.