Kathleen and Darryl Toupkin have visited 353 National Park Service sites, leaving just 65 until they have seen them all. They've planned a trip next week to see five more in Florida, including the Everglades and Canaveral National Seashore. They hope the trip won’t be derailed by the partial government shutdown;so far those sites still are open. But they are worried what will happen if the shutdown continues much longer. “I don’t care if you are a red person or a blue person, there are a lot of people being hurt,” Darryl said. About 420,000 federal employees are working without pay. Another 380,000 are on unpaid leave. That includes rangers who patrol the parks, enforce rules designed to protect the sites and keep people safe, along with other staff. Without rangers around, visitors drove off designated roads in Joshua Tree National Park in southeastern California, destroying some of the park’s namesake trees, which take decades to … [Read more...] about Will the government shutdown slow this couple’s quest to visit every national park?
Will the government shutdown
WASHINGTON – As the federal government faces a partial shutdown, critics have noted that President Donald Trump and the lawmakers on Capitol Hill who helped get the country in this predicament are still collecting paychecks. So why are Congress and the president getting paid when so many other federal workers are being asked to go without? Incoming freshman congresswoman and self-described Democratic-socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez – who has already become an outspoken critic of congressional pay – said in a tweet last week that the next time the government shuts down, "Congressional salaries should be furloughed as well." "It’s completely unacceptable that members of Congress can force a government shutdown on partisan lines & then have Congressional salaries exempt from that decision," she tweeted. "Have some integrity." Next time we have a gov shutdown, Congressional salaries should be furloughed as … [Read more...] about Why are Trump and those in Congress still getting paid during the government shutdown?
It's official: The partial federal government shutdown will have interplanetary consequences. As NASA's New Horizons spacecraft hurtles through the uncharted darkness of deep space, it's on target for a brief New Year's Day rendezvous with Ultima Thule, the most distant and primitive object ever to be explored by humankind. The data gathered by the mission will help scientists understand what conditions were like when our solar system first formed billions of years ago. But, due to the shutdown, those interested in tuning into the momentous event will be left almost in the dark: There will be no NASA-provided press releases, no social media updates and, perhaps most important to some, no live NASA webcast. "What's really a shame is this is truly historic," New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern told FLORIDA TODAY Thursday. "It's the farthest exploration of worlds in history and without NASA able to get the word out, I … [Read more...] about The government shutdown is keeping NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft in the dark
Christmas might finally be in the rearview mirror; not so the partial shutdown of the federal government. Following a two-day Christmas break, the federal government's unscheduled interregnum continues Wednesday with no signs of normalcy on the horizon. That means inconvenience and hardship for many, including some 5,000 federal workers in New Jersey who won't get paid this week. Congress reconvenes Thursday, but it remains unclear whether Congress and President Donald Trump will be able to quickly agree to a spending deal. Monday, Trump once again laid blame on Democrats for failing to fund his proposed border wall with Mexico, something he long promised Mexico would do. Democrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker waiting in the wings, wasn't optimistic: "It's hard to see how he can come up with a solution that can pass both the House and Senate and end his #TrumpShutdown," Pelosi tweeted. Until the shutdown ends, certain federal facilities — like the … [Read more...] about How long will federal government shutdown last?
Story highlights More than half of the Department of Health and Human Services 80,000+ employees could be furloughed Expert in disaster preparedness says "It doesn't make any sense" to risk the health of citizens (CNN)A government shutdown could potentially hurt the health of more than the government workers who will be plagued with the uncertainty and stress of not knowing when they'll get back to work and collect a paycheck. The shutdown could impact you, too. The government plays an outsized role in protecting our public health. A little more than half of the employees at the Department of Health and Human Services -- 41,203 out of 82,148 -- would be furloughed, according to the department's 2017 contingency plan. That means entire projects will stop and whole safety programs could go on hiatus. If the shutdown happens, workers considered "nonessential" stop working until Congress can agree on a federal budget bill. At its peak of the 2013 government shutdown, about … [Read more...] about 5 ways the government shutdown could be bad for your health