Government Shutdown Hits Alaskan Welfare, Wildlife

Alaskans will most likely feel the bite of today’s government shut down when it comes to welfare and wildlife.


The popular Women, Infants, and Children program, which logged close to 28,000 cases a month last year, may face cuts or delays. The federal government allocated close to $24 million for the program in Alaska this year, and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services as a whole receives close to half its funding from federal appropriations. It’s still unclear how staff furloughs and funding freezes will affect the Department, though school lunch and breakfast will continue for now, and food stamps will still be available.


National Parks have been closed, with all visitors asked to leave immediately. Campers were told they have 48 hours to find alternate accommodation.


As previously reported, core services like the military, air travel, courts, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs will continue to operate, as will the independently-funded U.S. Postal Service.


Politicians are taking the chance to beg for reconciliation. Congressman Don Young said House Republicans are doing all they can to find a compromise, and Senator Lisa Murkowski said her opposition to the Affordable Care Act shouldn’t outweigh the importance of keeping the economy on track.


Senatorial candidate Joe Miller also released a scathing attack on Senate Democrats, furious they refused to “take up consideration of a second US House Resolution to fund the government,”  and instead tabled the resolution with a straight party-line vote.


He directed his comments to Senator Mark Begich, saying “Mark Begich was the 60th and deciding vote on Obamacare, and continues to support and defend Obamacare rather than his constituents and the Constitution he has sworn to uphold.”


Senator Begich’s office is yet to release a statement.


For more, read: Alaska Agencies May Be Affected by Potiental Government Shutdown

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