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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid