Government Shutdown Viewer’s Questions

Posted at 6:59 PM, Oct 01, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-01 19:43:01-04

The government shutdown is being felt across the country and throughout West Michigan.

Many viewers, confused by the prospect of losing services, have sent us their questions.

Here’s a sample of some of those questions and what we found:

AJ Brooks writes, “Why do they still get paid for failing to do their jobs? This was a big vote getting issue in Obama’s first run at president , about making big company CEO’S accountable for their big bonus’ then filing bankrupt, how is THIS any different?”

US Senator (D) Carl Levin of Michigan said that members of congress can elect to give their pay back, but they are still getting paid regardless of whether the government is shut down or not.

Brad Wright said, “Will people collecting unemployment still get their money?”

Levin said that is a state function, and people should continue to receive their unemployment benefits if they are currently receiving them.

However, he says those trying to make new claims for things like disability will have to wait. The shutdown will delay the hearings needed to process the claims.

Meaghan Bilsky writes, “How does this effect wic?”

Levin said that program will be affected if the shutdown continues, and could run out of money within two weeks.

Another viewer asked if the military would still be paid.

Levin said that members of the U.S. military will still be paid, but death benefits for those who lose a loved one in war will be delayed until the shutdown is over.

Someone asked if government pension checks would be affected. Levin said those who are receiving checks currently would not be affected.

However, any new pension claims or disability claims would be delayed.

Other facts from the state’s budget office:

– The state will lose about an average of $18 million a day due to government shutdown
– Furloughs at the state level anticipated if shutdown continues past 14 days.
– student loans NOT impacted because they were “future funded” research grants at universities may be impacted
– “Most people in Michigan will not be impacted, but those who are impacted will be LARGELY impacted.”
– Transportation funding continues.
– If the shutdown lasts longer than a month food stamps in the state will be in a “real problem” situation.
– state will not use rainy-day fund to bail out food stamp program

This was statement that Levin issued on the shutdown on September, 27.

Levin statement of impact of a government shutdown on the military

Friday, September 27, 2013

WASHINGTON – Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement today after Defense Department officials outlined steps the department would be required to take in the event of a government shutdown:

“A shutdown would require our troops to go into combat while receiving only an IOU, put hundreds of thousands of DoD civilians on furlough without pay, and could even delay death benefits to the families of troops who fall in combat. It’s unconscionable that some members of Congress would place their own policy preferences ahead of the needs of our troops and their families. Our military and the American people deserve better. I urge Speaker Boehner to reject the legislative anarchy that House Republicans are pursuing, bring the Senate-passed continuing resolution to the floor of the House, send it to the president for his signature and end the threat of a shutdown.”