Possible government shutdown may directly affect RGV
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — "It's really a political battle that's going on between republicans and democrats that's controlling this issue," said UTB associate professor of business Gautam Hazarika.
The republican-controlled House and the democratic-controlled Senate have been debating about defunding some federal programs, like the Affordable Care Act. And if they can't make a decision by next Tuesday, the US could face a possible shutdown.
And the possibility of such a thing has many Valley residents fearing for the sake of themselves and their families.
"There's a lot of people depending on that - on those services, but if they were shut down...I don't know, it would be kind of chaotic," said Valley resident Kevin Molina.
"I mean even my family depends on it, so yeah it would be chaos. No one would have anything," said Valley resident Daisa Gonzalez.
But even local officials have differing opinions on how the Rio Grande Valley would be affected if a shutdown happened:
"It is not going to affect the economy...it will result in delays, that's all," said Hazarika. "If you're applying to something like a government loan of some kind, your application will be delayed. Passport applications might be delayed, uh applications, for let's say, gun permits might be delayed, so there might be a little inconvenience, but as far as our economy goes, I don't think they'll be any major impact."
"It's a political way of dealing with an economic issue," said Cameron County Texas Workforce Commission executive director Pat Hobbs. "If in fact the programs shut down and the unemployment checks quit flowing, that's an impact on at least 18,000 people in Cameron County."
But even if a government shutdown were to happen, the most protective federal agencies like the military, border CBP, border patrol, and air traffic control would still be in service.
"I think we oughta stay positive...that our legislatures will do the right thing and keep the government running and work out their differences," said Hobbs.
Reporting in Brownsville, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.