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How the government shutdown affects our region
The battle over the Affordable Care Act continues in Washington as the government remains closed. It's having some big impacts nationwide especially for the 800,000 federal workers who have been furloughed until things are resolved. The shutdown is also having some implications here at home.
Some of the most important things to know are that the post office is still operating, the military will continue to protect us and those receiving Social Security will still get paid. There are some other effects in our area but none that are considered essential to our everyday lives.
In Johnstown Tuesday at the federal building downtown, the Internal Revenue Service office was closed. Signs posted on the door read, "In the event of a government shutdown, this office will be closed. We apologize for any inconvenience."
Just across the hall, U.S. court was still in session and federal investigators were on the job. The U.S. attorneys office in Harrisburg said, "Criminal litigation and related work will continue without interruption as activities deemed essential to the safety of human life and the protection of property."
That was the same sentiment just across the street where the Social Security office was also open for business.
But for those visiting the area there are some inconveniences as all national parks are now closed. In our region that includes the Johnstown National Flood Memorial, Allegheny Portage Railroad and the Flight 93 National Memorial.
"We've been to the other 911 memorials but we never had gotten a chance to be on this side of Pennsylvania," said Linda Cain.
Cain and her husband were traveling through the area from Texas on Tuesday when they stopped the memorial but were forced to make other plans.
"I'm very disappointed in our president," she said.
"I just don't think it's necessary," said Bob Cain.
"The site is closed, the gates are closed as well and all of our employees, other than a skeleton law enforcement staff, have been furloughed," said Jeff Reinbold, superintendent for the memorial.
With it being one of the park services busiest months, officials told 6 News they expect turning thousands away.
"On a typical October weekend we'll see seven to 8,000 people," said Reinbold. "I think it's later this week or early this week there were 19 scheduled buses. So this is definitely a very busy time for us."
"It's really, really very disappointing with all this insane government shutdown," said Surinder Jain, who was visiting from Ohio.
Government employees who have been furloughed as a result of the shutdown will go without pay until the House and the Senate can come to an agreement.