Saturday, December 20, 2014

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New Yorkers Watch Closely As Feds' Furlough Threat Grows

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TWC News: New Yorkers Watch Closely As Feds' Furlough Threat Grows
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Close to 100,000 federal workers in the state and hundreds of thousands of others throughout the country are watching the clock and waiting for congress to reach a compromise to avoid furloughs. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.

New Yorkers heading to or from work most likely wouldn't immediately feel the impact of a government shutdown. Roads, bridges, public transportation and even air traffic would continue without change. But New York Senior Senator Charles Schumer stood with his Democratic counterpart from Connecticut Sunday saying close to 100,000 federal workers in New York State would be among at least 800,000 across the country furloughed.

"The uncertainty right here in New York in the markets will have ripple effects throughout the economy and it is avoidable," said Senator Richard Blumenthal.

Senate Democrats blame House Republicans. They passed a bill early Sunday morning that would fund the government, but delay for a year the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare. The bill would also repeal the tax on medical devices - helping to fund the reform - which largely goes into effect on Tuesday.

"The best way for them to get health insurance is to get a job, and Obamacare is the biggest job killer in this country. If you look at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce surveyed small business subjected to the mandate. Half of them said that they were forcibly reducing people's hours," Senator Ted Cruz told NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday.

The House bill now goes to the Senate which convenes Monday afternoon. Both the White House and the Democrat controlled Senate has said any bill that impacts Obamacare is dead on arrival, leaving little time for a compromise.

"Even now what the House of Representatives has done is a step removed from defunding, it's delaying it. Now that's the essence of a compromise," Sen. Cruz said.

Both parties agree a government shutdown would not be good for the economy.

"There's a time and place to debate Obamacare, but not at a time when millions of innocent people are held hostage if we don't fund the government," Schumer said.

The last government shutdown was in 1995 spilling into January. During a shutdown essential services for national security and public safety would continue as would Social Security benefits and Medicare and Medicaid.

National parks and the Pentagon would be impacted.

The House did pass a measure, unanimously, that would allow members of the military to be paid during a shutdown. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP