Government shutdown would impact Mid-South

Updated: Jan. 19, 2018 at 5:58 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The federal government is expected to shut down at midnight Saturday, because lawmakers cannot reach an agreement on a spending bill.

If it happens, it will be the second time this decade that the federal government has shut down--the last time happening in 2013.

The shutdown will have long-reaching impacts beyond Washington D.C.

"I think all sides are hoping they get an agreement before the end of the day," University of Memphis Political Science Professor Michael Sances said.

Sances said the whole thing boils down to two things: the government runs out of money January 19 and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) expires in March.

DACA provides legal protections for people who immigrated to America when they were minors. Democrats said the program should not expire, because it will harm people who have only ever known America as their home, and who have worked hard to succeed in the USA.

Democrats want any funding bill that passes to include assurances that DACA will remain in place.

Several lawmakers are weighing in on the issue.

So what does it mean for Mid-Southerners if the government shuts down?

Government employees who aren't deemed "essential" would not report to work. That means it could affect places like passport agencies and the Housing and Urban Development Office

"The national parks close. So you won't be able to visit national parks. For example, if you wanted to access something from the U.S. Census, you may not be able to access that website," Sances said. "People shouldn't panic. The state government of Tennessee is still going to be running. The city government in Memphis is still going to be running. Trash is going to be picked up. The water is still going to work. Most of the things we depend on from government are going to be running."

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