Local reaction varies when it comes to government shutdown - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Local reaction varies when it comes to government shutdown

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In the Rockford area, reaction to a potential shutdown varies. Monday at midnight certain aspects of our federal government could close up shop and head home.

While alarming to some,others are taking on the news with a "been there, done that" mentality.

"First of all, I think it's important to understand, these things have happened before," said local political analyst P. S. Ruckman Jr.

Since 1976, the federal government has shut down multiple times under multiple presidents. Four times under Jimmy Carter and eight under Ronald Reagan are more noteworthy. But the longest time was under Bill Clinton in '96.

Rockford area political analyst P. S. Ruckman Jr. says the government only shuts down what it deems as unnecessary.

"Our military will still be up and running. Social Security payments, benefits, Medicare, they'll still be distributed. The core functions of government, they don't shut down."

Ruckman says the real concern should be what comes after a potential shutdown.

"This is kind of the calm before the storm, and the big storm is the debt limit."

In Rockford, federal cuts are already being felt in one specific department. City leaders say a shutdown would only make matters worse.

"When we work with the housing and urban developments we know that they're on furloughs which has resulted in delays as it relays to technical questions and facilitating grants as well as the deployment of resources to the city," said Todd Cagnoni.

Others aren't intimidated by a short term shutdown but say the longer it could go, the more the effects could trickle down.

"Then it becomes felt by more individuals themselves but frankly, next week, you're not going to feel it next week. But you'll start feeling it several weeks and months out if in fact they can't come to agreements and understanding about how they're going to move this forward and I fully expect they will before that though," said Mark Podemski, VP for Development with the RAEDC.

The deadline is midnight tonight for lawmakers to decide if they want to shut the government down.

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