Joined by Vermont National Guard Adjutant General Steven Cray
and other officials, on Oct. 7, Gov. Peter Shumlin outlined the
ongoing impacts of the federal shutdown on Vermont and urged an end
to the congressional impasse.
"This shutdown may play well with Washington Republicans who are
holding up the federal government for their own political purposes,
but it's hurting real people in Vermont and across the country,"
Shumlin said. "This also will hurt our country's overall job growth
and economy. It's time for those stalling progress in
Congress to stop hampering our fragile economic recovery and start
demonstrating a willingness to find a responsible solution to this
Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding said the State is
actively monitoring the flow of federal funds and has some ability
to minimize the impact of the shutdown on Vermont, but that even
so, large numbers of Vermonters are already feeling the effects of
"Before the shutdown, departments were instructed to draw down
all eligible federal funds to prepare for the lapse in funding,"
Spaulding said. "That in combination with an already strong cash
position has put the State in a position to weather a short-term
disruption, but as the shutdown drags on, more and more people will
be hurt, some of them badly."
Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce said the possibility of a
lack of action before the impending debt ceiling limit deadline is
"The United States must not default on its financial
obligations. The world economy and financial markets operate under
the expectation that our leaders will act responsibly," Pearce
said. "It is time for Congress to end the standoff and take
The state Agency of Administration has researched the
implications of the federal government shutdown for
Vermont. Immediate disruptions include:
· Putting Vermonters out of work - an estimated 5,000 federal
employees who reside in Vermont are seeing reduced hours or
· Preventing training and other activities by the Vermont
National Guard, including cancellation of a monthly training
weekend affecting 3,000 troops.
· Delaying support for Vermont small businesses - the
processing of Small Businesses Administration (SBA) loans, a
critical source of credit for small businesses, is being
· Delaying the processing of benefits for seniors and veterans
- although Social Security checks will continue to go out and
Veterans Administration hospitals and clinics will remain open,
seniors and veterans applying for new benefits could see
significant delays in the processing of those claims.
· Affecting educational programs - Head Start programs,
depending on when in the year federal grants are received, may have
to cease operations because of a lack of funding.
· With the federal offices that handle housing matters,
including USDA Rural Development, closed in the state and the
region, new loan and loan guarantees can't be made. In addition, if
the shutdown continues into November it is not clear what will
happen with Housing and Urban Development programs. Delays in
rental subsidies could affect nearly 14,000 low income
· Shuttering federal lands to Vermont hunters and sportsmen -
The Nullhegan Basin Division and Putney Mountain Unit of the Silvio
Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge and the Missisquoi National
Wildlife Refuge have been closed and activities such as hunting and
fishing on those lands have been suspended.
· Halting important agricultural programs - many U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs have been impacted,
including farm loans, market assistance loans, disaster assistance
programs, assistance for the control of most plant and animal pests
and diseases, and grants for research, education, and