78 percent of Americans say they weren’t inconvenienced by government shutdown: survey

  • Only 11 percent of Americans reported  being ‘majorly inconvenienced’ by the shutdown
  • Experts warn that another shutdown could  be on the horizon in coming months

By  Associated Press and Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 18:08 EST, 23  October 2013 |  UPDATED: 18:08 EST, 23 October 2013

As politicians and cable news pundits spent  the 16-day shutdown of  the federal government describing the apocalyptic  scenario of the shutdown, the vast majority of ordinary citizens weren’t  even  phased by the fed being closed for business, according to a new  survey.

The Washington Post/ABC News survey, released  Tuesday, finds that  78-percent of those polled say they were not inconvenienced  by the  shutdown at all.

Of the 22-percent who said they were  inconvenienced, 11-percent described their troubles as a ‘minor  inconvenience.’

Barely missed: Only 11 percent of Americans say they were majorly inconvenienced by government shutdown 

Barely missed: Only 11 percent of Americans say they  were majorly inconvenienced by government shutdown

 

The survey was conducted October 17 through  the 20th – after the shutdown had come to an end.

The  surveyors polled 1,002 adults, asking the question ‘Were you  personally  inconvenienced by the partial shutdown of the federal  government or  not?’

If a respondent answered yes, they were asked  the followup question of ‘was it a major inconvenience or a minor  inconvenience?’

Prior to the shutdown, the Associated Press  explained how it would effect regular people, noting that it would have  far-reaching consequences for some, but minimal impact on others.

Deal: a deal to re-open the government was achieved on October 17 

Deal: a deal to re-open the government was achieved on  October 17

AIR TRAVEL

Federal air traffic controllers would remain  on the job and airport-screening staff would keep funneling passengers through  security checkpoints. Federal inspectors would continue enforcing safety  rules.

Shutdown: The tourist trips to Alcatraz would stop running if the federal shutdown goes ahead on Monday 

Shutdown: The tourist trips to Alcatraz would stop  running if the federal shutdown goes ahead on Monday

 

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

The State Department would continue  processing foreign applications for  visas and U.S. applications for passports,  since fees are collected to  finance those services. Embassies and consulates  overseas would continue to provide services to American citizens.

BENEFIT PAYMENTS

Social Security and Medicare benefits would  keep coming, but there could be delays in processing new disability  applications. Unemployment benefits would still go out.

FEDERAL COURTS

Federal courts would continue operating  normally for about 10 business days after the start of a shutdown, roughly until  the middle of October. If the shutdown continues, the judiciary would have to  begin furloughs of employees whose work is not considered essential. But cases  would continue to be heard.

MAIL

Deliveries would continue as usual because  the U.S. Postal Service receives no tax dollars for day-to-day operations. It  relies on income from stamps and other postal fees to keep running.

Lunch is served: School students who qualify for free school lunches and breakfast will not go hungry even if the shutdown goes ahead this week  

Lunch is served: School students who qualify for free  school lunches and breakfast will not go hungry even if the shutdown goes ahead  this week

 

RECREATION

All national parks would be closed, as would  the Smithsonian museums, including the National Zoo in Washington. Visitors  using overnight campgrounds or other park facilities would be given 48 hours to  make alternate arrangements and leave the park. Among the visitor centers that  would be closed: the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York,  Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Alcatraz Island near San Francisco and the  Washington Monument.

HEALTH

New patients would not be accepted into  clinical research at the National Institutes of Health, but current patients  would continue to receive care. Medical research at the NIH would be disrupted  and some studies would be delayed. The Centers for Disease Control and  Prevention would be severely limited in spotting or investigating disease  outbreaks, from flu to that mysterious MERS virus from the Middle  East.

FOOD SAFETY

The Food and Drug Administration would handle  high-risk recalls suspend most routine safety inspections. Federal meat  inspections would be expected to proceed as usual.

HEAD START

A small number of Head Start programs, about  20 out of 1,600 nationally, would feel the impact right away. The federal  Administration for Children and Families says grants expiring about Oct. 1 would  not be renewed. Over time more programs would be affected. Several of the Head  Start programs that would immediately feel the pinch are in Florida. It’s  unclear if they would continue serving children.

Safety first: Airport-screening staff will remain at work during the shutdown with safety being a top priority 

Safety first: Airport-screening staff will remain at  work during the shutdown with safety being a top priority

 

FOOD ASSISTANCE

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program  for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, could shut down. The program  provides supplemental food, health care referrals and nutrition education for  pregnant women, mothers and their children.

School lunches and breakfasts would continue  to be served, and food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance  Program, or SNAP, would continue to be distributed. But several smaller feeding  programs would not have the money to operate.

TAXES

Americans would still have to pay their taxes  and file federal tax returns, but the Internal Revenue Service says it would  suspend all audits. Got questions? Sorry, the IRS says taxpayer services,  including toll-free help lines, would be shut as well.

LOANS

Many low-to-moderate incomes borrowers and  first-time homebuyers seeking government-backed mortgages could face delays  during the shutdown. The Federal Housing Administration, which guarantees about  30 percent of home mortgages, wouldn’t underwrite or approve any new loans  during the shutdown. Action on government-backed loans to small businesses would  be suspended.

SCIENCE

NASA will continue to keep workers at Mission  Control in Houston and elsewhere to support the International Space station,  where two Americans and four others are deployed. The National Weather Service  would keep forecasting weather and issuing warnings and the National Hurricane  Center would continue to track storms. The scientific work of the U.S.  Geological Survey would be halted.

 

HOMELAND SECURITY

The majority of the Department of Homeland  Security’s employees are expected to stay on the job, including uniformed agents  and officers at the country’s borders and ports of entry, members of the Coast  Guard, Transportation Security Administration officers, Secret Service personnel  and other law enforcement agents and officers. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration  Services employees would continue to process green card applications.

MILITARY

The military’s 1.4 million active duty  personnel would stay on duty, but their paychecks would be delayed. About half  of the Defense Department’s civilian employees would be furloughed.

PRISONS

All 116 federal prisons would remain open,  and criminal litigation would proceed.

VETERANS SERVICES

Most services offered through the Department  of Veterans Affairs will continue because lawmakers approve money one year in  advance for the VA’s health programs. Veterans would still be able to visit  hospitals for inpatient care, get mental health counseling at vet centers or get  prescriptions filled at VA health clinics. Operators would still staff the  crisis hotline and claims workers would still process payments to cover  disability and pension benefits. But those veterans appealing the denial of  disability benefits to the Board of Veterans Appeals will have to wait longer  for a decision because the board would not issue any decisions during a  shutdown.

WORK SAFETY

Federal occupational safety and health  inspectors would stop workplace inspections except in cases of imminent danger.

Cultural abyss: The National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. would be one of many to close during a shutdown 

Cultural abyss: The National Museum of Natural History  at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. would be one of many to close  during a shutdown

 

The deal to re-open the government was  reached on October 17. However, it is only temporary, and there potentially  could be another government shutdown in coming months

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