As Government Shutdown Looms, Full Impact on Bay Area Remains Unclear

With a government shutdown looming, federal officials have few details on how their agencies might be affected, leaving Bay Area residents with little to go on should the shutdown occur.

National Parks Service spokesman Jeffrey Olson said in a statement, "Parks are working on their individual shutdown plans but we do not yet have details of their plans."

In the most recent such shutdown in October 2013, Alcatraz Island, Fort Point and Fort Baker, Lands End and Muir Woods National Monument were closed. Visitor centers like the Lands End Lookout were also closed, and the parks' websites were not maintained.

Local NPS officials could not be reached for comment.

If a shutdown were to occur, the Transportation Security Administration would operate on a skeleton crew, a spokeswoman said.

"Any non-essential TSA employee would be furloughed.

Transportation Security Officers (uniformed officers who work in the security checkpoint) are considered essential employees and would work without pay unless Congress authorized pay after the fact," Lorie Dankers, a TSA spokeswoman, said in an email.

The spokeswoman added that a skeleton, non-uniformed staff declared essential to security operations would be in place. "It would be a very small number," Dankers said.

U.S. Postal Service operations would not be interrupted in the event of a shutdown, a spokesman said.

"All post offices would remain open for business as usual," said Augustine Ruiz, spokesman for the postal service for the Bay Area.

"It is because we are an independent entity funded by the sale of our products and services and not by tax dollars," Ruiz said.

The SF Housing Authority is run by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a federal agency. However, spokespeople for both entities predicted there would be no changes in the event of a shutdown.

"We do not think we will be impacted," said SF Housing Authority spokeswoman Rose Dennis. She added, "we are monitoring the situation and if the situation changes, we would immediately alert the public and the people we serve."

Jereon Brown, a HUD spokesman, said, "We provide them (public housing agencies) with funding. The funding stream would continue. From our perspective, there would be no differences whatsoever and they would continue being funded."

Brown said that in the October 2013 federal government shutdown, which lasted two weeks, "the funding streams remained open."

However, in 2013, Brown said all operations were running on reserve funding starting Oct. 1, the first day of the shutdown.

According to a news release from HUD, a few of its programs would continue to operate in the case of a shutdown. HUD homeless assistance grants, including supportive housing for veterans and housing for people with AIDS, would continue to be funded.

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