government shutdown

Party Lines Mean Little In KC Area Debt Crisis Vote

Oct 17, 2013

Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts was the lone “no” vote among U.S. Senators from Missouri and Kansas as the debt ceiling crisis was averted and the federal government reopened.

Most House Members from the region voted with Roberts and on the losing side of a measure that is now law.

No votes came from Republicans Kevin Yoder, Sam Graves and Vicky Hartzler.  

The  Ayes were counted among Jerry Moran, Lynn Jenkins and Democrat Emanuel Cleaver who later talked with Steve Kraske on KCUR program Up To Date, unhappy with the temporary budgetary solution.

Visitors to Missouri can once again go up in the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and pitch tents at federally-run campsites, now that the government shutdown has ended. 

The Arch in downtown St. Louis opened Thursday without any problems and with the average number of visitors wanting to go inside, according to representatives with the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.  There were also no issues with the reopening of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways in southern Missouri. 

Both of Missouri’s U.S. Senators voted in favor of the bill Wednesday night that reopened the federal government and raised the country’s debt ceiling.

The measure, approved by the House and Senate and signed by the President early Thursday, restores funding for the government through January 15 and extends the nation's borrowing authority through February 7.

Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri says he hopes the government learned some lessons during the 16-day shutdown.

Relief. At the eleventh hour, Congress agreed on a bill to end the government shutdown and avert a default on U.S. debt. It was signed early Thursday morning by President Barack Obama.

Here is how our regional delegation voted on the bill:

Kansas Senate

Pat Roberts (R) - No
Jerry Moran (R) - Yes

Kansas House

Tim Huelskamp (R) - No
Lynn Jenkins (R) - Yes
Kevin Yoder (R) - No
Mike Pompeo (R) – No

Missouri Senate

Roy Blunt (R) - Yes
Claire McCaskill (D) - Yes

Govt. Shutdown Halts Farm Chemical Inspections

Oct 16, 2013
Rennett Stowe / Flickr--CC

American farmers count on a steady supply of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides to keep pests from destroying their crops,  but the government shutdown is creating a backlog of chemicals needed to produce the vital tools.

Frank Morris / KCUR-FM

Normally, Friday would be a big day for the commodity markets. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Report is due, providing what is widely excepted to be the most trusted and complete snapshot of farm markets in the middle of harvest season. But, with the government shutdown the report is not coming out. In fact, farmers and ranchers aren’t getting any of the USDA information they rely on, and in this case, ignorance is not bliss.

If the federal government shutdown continues longer than two more weeks, 70,000 young mothers, babies and preschoolers in Kansas stand to lose access to some of the food they rely on.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has ordered local WIC offices to withhold checks for November and December until federal funding is assured. WIC checks are normally issued for three months at a time. 

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D, MO-5) joins Steve Kraske to give an update on what happening with the federal government shutdown and the impending debt ceiling issue.

accesskansas.org

Another 263  people who work for national guard units in Kansas but are paid by federal programs, got  confirmation as late as October 4 that their paychecks have been stopped.

They join 772 others notified earlier to stay home without pay.

First it was soldiers and airmen of Kansas National Guard. 

Sharon Watson of the Adjutant General’s Office  says the latest are federally-funded state employees, sometimes more than one in a household.

The federal government shutdown has now hit the Missouri National Guard.

Late Wednesday, the Guard furloughed nearly a thousand of their 1,400 federal technicians considered to be non-essential. Spokeswoman, Major Tammy Spicer, says the technicians include both civilian and uniformed staff.

"Full-time federal technicians do a variety of jobs across the state, anything from clerical, to mechanical, to aviation related," Spicer said.

Just over 400 federal technicians considered essential remain on duty. Meanwhile, weekend drills have also been called off.

401(K) 2012/Flickr-CC

When thousands of federal employees are being forced to go without a paycheck indefinitely because of inaction in Congress, is it really ethical for members of Congress to keep accepting their own paychecks?

On Thursday's Up to Date, the Ethics Professors join us to discuss that and other issues of murky morals. Should we consider signing up for healthcare part of a civic duty to lower medical costs for everyone? And how should we set a limit when it comes to the cost and scope of treatment?

Guests:

Government Shutdown Crimps Some Food Inspections

Oct 2, 2013
rick / Flickr--CC

Consumers can rest assured that even with the government shutdown that went into effect on Tuesday, all of the meat, poultry and eggs bought from the grocery store will be inspected as usual by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But that’s not necessarily the case for other foods -- like cheese, produce and boxes of cereal. Inspections for these products fall under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration, which had to furlough 45 percent of its staff on Tuesday.

Head Start, a federally funded pre-K program for low-income children, had already been hit by a 5.3 percent sequestration budget cut. In the Kansas City metropolitan area, 200 Head Start slots were eliminated in Missouri and 50 more in Kansas.

On Tuesday, due to the government shutdown, 23 Head Start programs in 11 states, with fiscal years beginning October 1, were told to close.

Frank Morris / KCUR

The government shutdown forced hundreds of thousands of civilian employees to go home early Tuesday, including thousands in the military installations around Kansas City. Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley in central Kan., and Whiteman Air Force Base near Knob Noster, Mo., all furloughed technicians and workers. 

Shutdown expected to take toll on Whiteman

At Whiteman Air Force Base, B-2 stealth bombers based here soar like giant evil bats over the facility almost every day.

Edward Stojakovic / Flickr.com

There are an estimated 27,500 federal employees in the Kansas City metropolitan area. And Tuesday, with the shutdown of the federal government, some of those workers are furloughed.

Michael Devine, the director of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Mo., was at work Tuesday morning with other staffers, shutting down the facility. This included changing outgoing email and voice messages.

When the country woke up Tuesday morning, it found a partially-shutdown federal government That meant 800,000 workers furloughed, services curtailed, national parks closed, the EPA virtually shuttered and much more. 

On Tuesday's Up to Date we talk with Congressmen Emanuel Cleaver and Kevin Yoder about the latest negotiations between Republicans and Democrats and between factions within the Republican Party.

Guests:

Sydney Llewellyn / KCUR

The federal government of the United States has shutdown.  But, how long will the country go without money budgeted to run its government?