Hampton Roads awaits looming deadline that could lead to government shutdown

Posted at 3:59 PM, Sep 29, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. – The U.S. government could shut down by October 1; however, the Senate is expected to vote on a resolution either Wednesday or Thursday.

If a shutdown happens, many government employees would get furloughed, and then citizens would see a rippling effect.

Some examples are: new applications with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would likely be delayed. Homeowners could experience longer waits in having their mortgages processed. Airline passengers could see major delays. During the 2018 shutdown, air travel was strained as air traffic controllers and Transportation Security Administration agents worked without pay, and some stopped showing up for work.

Lisa Farbstein, a spokesperson for TSA in the Eastern region sent the following statement. “If there is a lapse in appropriated funds, TSA will continue to carry out critical security functions throughout the transportation system. Security remains our priority, and we will never compromise on our founding mission.”

Economics professor, Dr. Robert McNab, of Old Dominion University, talked about the potential impact that a shutdown at the beginning of October could have, as well as the debt issue that could pose more danger by mid-October.

“If there's a partial government shutdown, military service members are typically required to work, contractors are in a gray status depending upon their contract, and federal employees are typically sent home,” said McNab. “This means training is interrupted, maintenance is interrupted, operations are interrupted to some extent. And that ripples through the Hampton Roads economy. Why? Because we estimate that four out of every $10 in the Hampton Roads economy is touched by the federal government in some fashion, directly or indirectly. So if you interrupt 40% of economic activity in Hampton Roads, you're going to have a much larger impact here.”

On a call with members of the media, Senator Tim Kaine (D – Va) said he’s confident a shutdown will not happen.

“Dems have to act like the majority. We got the majority now and we can’t just be about waiting around and waiting for somebody else to make decisions for us,” Kaine stated.

The Senate is expected to vote by Thursday on a resolution to fund operations through early December.