By Cora Beyer
The Federal Government has reached the two week mark for its current shutdown. The shutdown was enacted as congressional and White House officials failed to come up with a spending bill. This bill has sparked controversy among government officials as it is dependent on a $5.7 billion budget for a border wall, according to the New York Times.
As the time drags on, it is easy to think of the government employees that are without pay, but other consequences, that hit closer to home, are more easily forgotten.
The government employees that are furloughed extends further than just Capitol Hill. Many people around the country are without jobs for the uncertain future. For instance, 40% of census bureau employees in Indiana were furloughed just after Christmas, according to BBC.
These consequences are seen across the country, not only in the nation’s capital. According to NPR, national parks, like the Yosemite National Park, are severely understaffed, causing waste build up among some of the most beautiful sights that nature has to offer. Other national parks, like Yellowstone National Park, have been forced to enact closures, or partial closures, altogether.
Many museums, especially in Washington DC, are also forced to close their doors due to the shutdown. Beloved museums, like the Air and Space, African American History, and Natural History museums, are closed to the public. The National Zoo is also a part of that list.
According to the Smithsonian spokeswoman, Linda St Thomas, about 1.2 million visitors will be turned away from these locations as the shutdown continues.
Concern has also been sparked over the issue of government aid, like food stamps. Those affected will continue to receive aid, but as government funding dwindles, it may get more difficult to accommodate.
The federal government funds many projects and organizations around the country, which are suffering without a functioning government. This can be seen as agencies, like the National Science Foundation, are forced to delay research projects without government grants and federal data available.
Regardless of political stance, it is easy to see how much this extensive government shutdown is affecting American lives.