ARIZONA NEWS

What would it mean for Arizonans if the federal government shut down?

Dec 7, 2017, 4:45 AM | Updated: 11:45 am
The Capitol is seen in Washington, early Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, days before a budget clash could pr...

The Capitol is seen in Washington, early Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, days before a budget clash could produce a partial government shutdown by the weekend unless there's an agreement on a measure temporarily keeping agencies open. President Donald Trump and congressional leaders have scheduled a meeting to sort out their differences over spending, immigration and other priorities. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
LISTEN: A government shutdown is not the end of the world.

PHOENIX — Congress has seemed to push forward in its efforts to pass a spending bill that would keep the federal government operating through December.

Lawmakers have until Saturday, when most federal spending authority is set to expire, to pass a continuing resolution and avoid a government shutdown.

But what would it mean for Arizona if a spending agreement is not ratified and signed by President Donald Trump by then?

Mike O’Neil, KTAR 92.3 FM’s political analyst, said the immediate impacts would not be felt by everyday Arizonans.

“Most of stuff that would really impact people in the immediate sense, such as air travel, [lawmakers would] declare that as essential and they keep going with that anyway,” he said.

But for those looking to visit national parks and other recreational areas might be out of luck, as the government shutdown would result in the closure of non-essential federal assets.

“In the past, they closed off some national parks, like the Grand Canyon,” he said. “That would be an annoyance to anybody who’s going up there. It would be selective and minor annoyances.”

However, O’Neil said the possibility of a government shutdown seems unlikely because the party whose members trigger the shutdown are seen as the “losers” in the deal.

“It depends on who, at the last minute, looks the most unreasonable,” he said. “When we the shutdown in the Clinton Administration, the Republicans ended up looking unreasonable. But it’s not clear it would happen that way this time because it really hasn’t played out, yet.”

O’Neil also said government shutdowns are costly and ultimately do more harm than good because bills keep coming in and non-essential government employees who were furloughed are reimbursed once they return to work.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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What would it mean for Arizonans if the federal government shut down?