Travellers who are thinking about travelling to the United States to see some of its famous attractions better call first, because the government has started its partial shutdown. This happened after the two houses of Congress failed to agree on a new budget for the country. Now, Congress is refusing to pay certain government sectors until a budget is agreed.
At the heart of this budget is Obamacare. The healthcare reform has been causing an uproar in Congress ever since it was proposed by the president. Although there was some talk about Obamacare being pushed back to give Congress more time to talk about it, it seems these plans have fallen through. That is because President Obama believes that the country will find itself in the same situation a few months down the road and face yet another government shutdown.
As a result of the government shutdown, several government services are being cancelled. The services that remain open in the United States include the military, healthcare and law enforcement, among others. Services that have been closed include the U.S. space program, building and zoning permits, and government-run landmarks. Some 700,000 federal employees now find themselves without a job. On top of that, they have no guarantee that they will receive any of their back pay once this shutdown is over.
For now, the Department of State will continue to operate for a limited amount of time. The Department of Defence will remain open and continue to operate normally. Of course, all military personnel have been guaranteed to receive their back pay once this is all over. The Department of Education is still going to send out $22 billion to public schools. However, staffing is expected to feel an impact. The Department of Energy will send home 12,700 workers, and the Department of Health will send home nearly half of its workers. The postal service, however, will continue to operate in full capacity.
All museums, zoos, national parks and Smithsonian institutions will be shut down as of immediately. That is because all of these things are funded on some kind of government level. These landmarks will be left closed until the government comes out of the shutdown. It is the closing of these landmarks that will hurt tourism the most. With these landmarks closed, no one is in or around them. This affects all of the companies that count on these landmarks to bring in business.
This is also likely to put a damper on tourists who are already in the United States and wanted to visit things like the Statue of Liberty. This is a popular landmark for all foreigners to visit. With the government in shutdown, this is one of the landmarks that is also being shut down for the time being.
People who are visiting the United States will see the money that they spend going a lot further, however. This is due to the fact that the first government shutdown in nearly 17 years has led to the dollar falling in value.