Government Shutdown Affecting Mid-Columbia - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Government Shutdown Affecting Mid-Columbia

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KENNEWICK, WA – NBC Right Now is working to figure out which federally funded services are closed in the government shutdown and which local services may run out of funding if a budget is not passed soon.

Employees who get paychecks from the Department of Energy like the workers at Hanford and PNNL went to work Tuesday. They have funding carried over from last year to keep them going. Other services have similar reserves, but they will not last for long. Over 800,000 federal employees were without jobs nationwide Tuesday. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife office in Burbank was one of many shutdown. That means the Hanford Reach National Monument was closed as well.

"They're not doing their job," said Arlene Spaulding from Kennewick, one of many people from our region that NBC Right Now spoke with Tuesday. "Congress shouldn't be paid. I mean why should they be paid when they're putting so many people in a hardship."

"I think they should quit acting like a bunch of two year olds and come to a decision," said Alisha Weatherbee.

"It's kind of wrong to hold me hostage because they think their ideology is more important than mine," said Jim Mainord.

One federally funded service that is still holding on is the WIC program.

"In Washington State we have about a little over 9 days worth of funding," said Annie Goodwin, the Benton Franklin County WIC coordinator. "The vendors or grocery stores will be paid for any checks cashed during this time period."

But once that reserve funding runs out, so do WIC services, which supply the most vulnerable population, mothers and infants, with supplies that they otherwise can't afford.

"It's real hard to see moms and babies be suffering because our congressmen can't agree on a budget," said Goodwin.

All parks owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that are leased by other entities, for example city parks or state parks will remain open. Services like WIC, Social and Health Services and others are operating normally. NBC Right Now is checking in with these operations and we will inform you when or if they run out of funding and how that will impact you.

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