Several thousand federal employees in South Carolina are being forced to stay home due to the government shutdown. Data from the Office of Personal Management show that there are over 22,000 federal employees in South Carolina. A large majority, but not all, will be affected.
Active-duty military personnel and civilian employees needed to support essential military operations at Fort Jackson and Shaw Air Force Base will continue to work, but their pay will be delayed. All others will be furloughed, including about half of the civilian workers. About 1,000 full-time employees with the South Carolina National Guard will also be furloughed.
All six national parks in the state, including Congaree National Park and Fort Sumter National Monument, have been forced to close.
South Carolinians waiting for approval of a government-backed loan, either through the Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Administration or U.S. Department of Agriculture will be delayed. Processing of federal small business loans also would stop.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) says it has enough reserves to cover the “Women, Infant and Children” (WIC) food voucher program for an additional two weeks, if needed. WIC clients should continue using their vouchers as usual and WIC-approved vendors should continue to honor those vouchers.
Members of Congress will still get paid during the shutdown, but some say they are not happy with that part of the law.
In a statement, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, “I shouldn’t get a congressional salary while other federal employees are denied the ability to go to work. I’m going to take my congressional salary during the government shutdown and donate it to the Wounded Warrior Project.”
Air traffic controllers and airport security screeners, border security, Coast Guard operations, federal prisons, most Justice Department operations, postal deliveries, Social Security payments, Veterans Administration hospital operations and weather forecasting will all not be affected by the government shutdown.