News / USA

Several Tourist Spots Could Close if Government Shuts Down

Several Tourist Spots Could Close if Government Shuts Downi
X
September 27, 2013 2:11 AM
Annual funding for the U.S. government will expire on September 30th. It’s up to Congress to pass a bill to fund the government past October 1st. But the two major political parties are at odds, and a government shutdown could occur. In that case, only essential government employees would report to work. And many popular tourist spots would close. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti shows us what Washington would look like during a shutdown.
Annual funding for the U.S. government will expire on September 30th. It’s up to Congress to pass a bill to fund the government past October 1st.  But the two major political parties are at odds, and a government shutdown could occur. In that case, only essential government employees would report to work. And many popular tourist spots would close.

Every week after pre-school, Jack walks here to the National Zoo to watch the elephants.

Jack’s nanny, Kim Hazelton, doesn’t know what they'll do if a government shutdown closes the zoo.

“I’m sure that it would be a total disaster every single day because that’s the first thing he asks for. He wants to come and see the animals," said Hazelton.

Should a shutdown occur, none of these people would be seen on the sidewalk here at the zoo. Only essential zookeepers would be allowed in, to feed and take care of the animals.

The National Zoo is part of the world’s largest museum complex - the Smithsonian Institution, which is funded by the government.  Entry is free - but the Smithsonian relies on concessions for extra money, and they - and the museums -  will be closed during a shutdown.  The Smithsonians' Linda St. Thomas.

“It will be tough for visitors, particularly ones who don’t check in advance and just come and see a sign on a door," said St. Thomas.

Like the shutdown in the mid 1990s, work would continue on national security, air traffic control, food safety, in banking and prisons.  

But no visa or passport applications would be processed. There would be no new clinical research. The national parks would close, and millions of tourists would be shut out.

The nation is still recovering from budget cuts called sequestration, when half of all government employees were furloughed for up to six days.  

Stephen Fuller directs the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University.  He says a shutdown would have an added effect on the economy.  

“The debt ceiling, what are they going to do about that? And, whether the sequester will continue into next year and then you put right in the middle of that, we are going to shut down government too?  All together this becomes very impactful," said Fuller.

Congress could push to the deadline final action to fund the government after midnight, October first.   The Republican-led House of Representatives is seeking a way to defund President Obama's health care reform, which has set up a stand off with the Democratic majority in the Senate.

Francoise Porch from California doesn’t have faith in the legislators.  

"And we want to show the world how to run a democracy? Excuse me!  Elect some smarter people," said Porch.

Fuller says the threat of a shutdown already is slowing the economy because consumers are hesitant to buy, too worried that they might not have a job to go to on October 1.

Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid