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The effect of the Government Shutdown on the County

| October 2, 2013

GOVSHUTDOWNLOCALAFFECTSPKG from WAGM-TV on Vimeo.

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As Lawmakers continue to debate the budget for the new fiscal year, there’s no sign of an immediate solution to the government shutdown in sight and non-essential governmental services across the country are feeling the effects. It’s day 2 of the nation-wide partial government shutdown and although it doesn’t affect ahh government agencies, it does affect agencies like the County Federal Credit Union, that works in conjunction with the USDA for a mortgage loan program.

Vice President of Lending of the County Federal Credit Union Dan Bagley says, “We are partnered with the USDA for the Guaranteed Loan program, it’s a program for people with excellent credit that want to buy a home but they may not necessarily have enough money for down payment, so it’s a government guarantee, credit union makes the loan, federal government guarantees the loan.”

But the federal government can’t guarantee a loan if there aren’t any employees processing the application workload at the USDA- just one of the agencies affected by the government shutdown as lawmakers continue to debate the budget for the new fiscal year.  Governor Paul LePage says the shutdown won’t affect school funding, state-run public assistance programs or agencies like the environmental department; but if you’re looking to buy a home using a federal loan, you may be put on hold for a little bit.

Vice President of Lending of the County Federal Credit Union Dan Bagley says, “There are some members with mortgage applications in process, and the USDA office in Bangor is involved with our process, so we rely on those employees to review some of the applications there could be a delay in processing some of those applications while this furlough is ongoing.”

Also affected by the government shutdown is the Social Security office on Main Street in Presque Isle.

Barbara Macintosh says,  “I work for Social Security administration and we are considered essential we’re open all day but we can only do very limited services for our public.”

The social security dot gov website lists the services it can provide and services it cannot provide. Which include issuing new or replacement social security cards, replacing medicare cards, and issuing a proof of income letter. Since it is a partial government shutdown, it doesn’t affect many agencies in the County, but if it goes on for long enough, a temporary problem could turn into long-term financial trouble for furloughed employees.

This is the first government shutdown in the U.S. in 17 years and economists estimate the U.S. Economy is losing 300 million dollars each day it continues. But only time will tell how long the government shutdown will actually last.

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