Bay Area gets restless as potential 4th government shutdown in decade looms, spending bill fails

Tara Campbell Image
Saturday, September 30, 2023
Bay Area gets restless as potential government shutdown looms
There was a big setback Friday, with the House failing to pass a stop-gap spending bill, making a government shutdown most likely.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Happening on Capitol Hill, the federal government is spiraling toward a shutdown. A vote on a short-term funding bill in the House failed, and it doesn't look like a deal will get done anytime soon.

Now lawmakers are in a race against the clock. They have until Saturday night to get some agreement on the books to prevent a shutdown.

From Fleet Week to the Bay Area's beloved national parks...

"If they shut down any of the national parks, we'll be really upset," said someone visiting San Francisco with their partner.

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To airport security -- it is all poised to be crippled pending a government shutdown.

"We're more worried about getting home," the couple said.

There was a big setback Friday, with the House failing to pass a stop-gap spending bill, making a government shutdown most likely.

Millions of federal workers are potentially losing paychecks. Federal food benefits are also on the line.

RELATED: House fails to pass short-term spending bill that would keep government open through Oct. 31

"We're most concerned about how this shutdown could impact low-income people who rely on government benefits, on government offices to be available. You know, this is really going to harm them in a large way," said Tracy Weatherby, VP of Strategy and Advocacy of Second Harvest Silicon Valley.

Second Harvest of Silicon Valley is one of the Bay Area's biggest food banks. Weatherby says they have been preparing for a shutdown.

"If people are not getting paychecks and not getting CalFresh, we have really worked to ensure we will have resources available so people can get groceries and that basic food support they need to survive," Weatherby said.

Weatherby does warn that if a shutdown drags on, Second Harvest could have a problem keeping up.

RELATED: From Social Security to travel: Everything to know about a government shutdown

"I'm hoping the whole Congress will work together to avoid this completely unnecessary crisis for low-income people," she said.

East Bay Congressman Mark DeSaulnier is losing hope when asked if he's optimistic about getting a deal done - he was quite clear.

"Not after, today I was surprised by how many republicans voted against a bill that was completely unacceptable to us," DeSaulnier said.

RELATED: Fewer controllers, potential flight disruptions: What a government shutdown means for air travel

And the congressman isn't mincing words about the potential impact.

"It will become more disastrous over time, but people will feel the effects of it and they will feel it reasonably quickly," DeSaulnier said.

Now lawmakers have until to come to an agreement on some sort of spending bill. If they don't get it done, it will mark the fourth shutdown in the past decade.

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