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Pennsylvania families would feel impact of government shutdown

Federal workers, those who rely on federal programs would be affected by government shutdown
Federal workers, those who rely on federal programs would be affected by government shutdown 03:31

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A government shutdown this weekend looks more likely than ever with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy unable to get Republicans united on a plan to keep the government open.

The impact of the pending shutdown will be felt from coast to coast and will hurt families here in Pennsylvania as well. 

"You have everything from members of the military, TSA, border security -- you name it -- federal essential employees still having to go on the job without a paycheck," said Pennsylvania Congressman Chris Deluzio.

A government shutdown would be bad for several reasons, with the main one being that people who work for the federal government, like the more than one million active duty military and the thousands of air traffic controllers and TSA agents, who will be going without pay.

"It's a hard thing to ask someone to go do their job and not get a paycheck. I think it's frankly ridiculous," Deluzio said. 

Now, the prospect of a government shutdown looks increasingly likely with Congress running out of time to approve new funding.

Both the Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Secretary said a lapse in funding would severely hamper key government functions and could cause lengthy delays at airports around the county.

Social Security payments will not be interrupted or delayed.  Also Medicare and Medicaid benefits will continue to go out on time.   

The White House is warning that active duty service members could have their pay delayed in the event of a shutdown, even if the shutdown only last a few days. The Pentagon echoed that sentiment recently while addressing members of the media.

"Servicemembers have rent to pay, mortgages, and childcare," said Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh. "Those bills are going to mount up. It's an incredibly stressful time."

In terms of other local impacts, almost two million Pennsylvanians could lose their SNAP benefits and nearly 180,000 Pennsylvanians could lose WIC benefits.

"The hardest hit are going to be the most vulnerable, are going to be the most marginalized, so Black folks, brown folks, poor and working class people are, of course, going to be hit the hardest," said Pennsylvania Congresswoman Summer Lee. 

Lee said food banks are also expecting a surge in use, as both unpaid and furloughed government employees and those denied food benefits seek food to feed their families. 

"What we've heard from our food banks, what we've heard from our area partners who are the ones who regularly step in the gap in these crises is that they do not know how they will be able to meet the need with so many people in our region going to be impacted," Lee said. 

Pennsylvania airports will also be impacted as flight delays could build -- delays not only on your flight could take place, but at security checkpoints. TSA agents, being federal employees, are required to work, but would not be paid. Passport processing would stop, as well. 

The clock is ticking for Congress with the deadline for the government shutdown set for Sunday at 12:01 a.m. 

Pennsylvania families to soon feel impact of pending government shutdown 02:57
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