Government Shutdown Would Affect Local Services at Federal Offices

The federal government will go into a partial shutdown tomorrow if Congress is unable to reach an agreement before midnight. A shutdown would affect many services provided by federal offices, including parts of the Department of Agriculture. That could impact farmers seeking certain federal loans, says Richard Bonanno, head of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation.

“If you’re waiting for a check for a loan payment for a renewable energy project, you’re waiting for a grant for a conservation project, and you need an appointment to get a check, and you’re ready to start the project, you’re going to be delayed,” Bonanno says.

According to a shutdown plan by the USDA, the department’s development wing will be unable to grant new loans, except for emergencies. The plan says a shutdown of more than two weeks would have serious impacts on the rural economy.

The Internal Revenue Service is another agency affected by a government shutdown, making it more difficult for people looking to get their tax issues resolved. Lester Ryan came down to the IRS office in Springfield on Monday to address a potential student loan that he says the agency has put on hold. The possibility of a shutdown made him frustrated.

“It’s a big inconvenience because I took today off from work to come down here and take care of some stuff,” says Ryan, “and it doesn’t look like I’m going to get it done today, so I was going to come back tomorrow. I’m kind of under the gun here, I need this done before October,” he says. “But hopefully this doesn’t go through, we need it open, obviously.”

Another visitor who declined to give his name was a little more relaxed about the shutdown. He says that if he’s not able to get his business done before the IRS office closes, he can blame the agency…for a change.