Politics & Government

You’ll get your mail, but don’t plan to visit the Great Smokies during the shutdown

What happens when the government shuts down?

The world won't end if Washington can't find a way to pass a funding bill. That's the truth about a government "shutdown": the government doesn't shut down.
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The world won't end if Washington can't find a way to pass a funding bill. That's the truth about a government "shutdown": the government doesn't shut down.

Neither snow nor rain nor gloom of a government shutdown is affecting mail delivery of the U.S. Postal Service, which is an independent agency. But there are plenty of ways people are affected by the shutdown, or could be.

Here’s a partial list:

The airport: While screeners at the Transportation Security Administration are working without pay, passengers are noticing little difference, a TSA spokesman said. Standard screening passengers waited a maximum of 16 minutes Wednesday at Charlotte Douglas International Airport while pre-check passengers waited three minutes, he said.

“We are humbled by the acts of kindness and support from industry and the public, who clearly recognize and admire our officers’ efforts,” spokesman Thomas Kelly said in an email.

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Food stamps. According to U.S. Rep. Alma Adams’ office, over 1.6 million North Carolinians on the program stand to lose their benefits at the end of February.

Housing: Federal money pays for services and subsidizes housing through the Charlotte Housing Authority. CHA President A. Fulton Meachem Jr. said in a statement that programs are expected to be funded through February.

The environment: According to Gov. Roy Cooper’s office, the federal Environmental Protection Agency is not testing water samples collected by state environmental regulators.

Food inspections: The Washington Post reported this week that the Food and Drug Administration has reduced inspections of America’s food supply. Critics say that puts the supply at risk.

National parks. While some national parks like Yosemite remain open, others such as the Great Smokies National Park are closed. So are national historic sites suck as the Carl Sandburg Home in Flat Rock.

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