Beshear Laments Effects Of Government Shutdown

Oct 16, 2013

Gov. Steve Beshear is pressing Congress to resolve the government shutdown, saying it is having negative effects on Ky. families.

“Unconscionable” – that’s how Gov. Beshear described the cuts a prolonged shutdown have on Kentuckians, most of them low-income, elderly, or young children.

"If the federal government walks away from its obligations, it is impossible for Kentucky to act as Washing D.C.'s emergency bank lender for any significant amount of time," the governor told reporters.

The U.S. government halted most non-essential government services 16 days ago, forcing unplanned furloughs for thousands of federal workers across the country and leading to the temporary closure of Mammoth Cave and Cumberland Gap national parks in Kentucky.

Beshear said Wednesday that it also has delayed the opening of a nursing home for people with behavioral disabilities.

Beshear told reporters that impacts will be even more widespread beginning Nov. 1, when funds for welfare programs and other government services dry up, if the impasse isn't resolved.

Among the programs that would find themselves out of cash by November 1st are: the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, and WIC, a program that provides food assistance for women, infants, and children.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky helped finalize a compromise on Wednesday that was awaiting votes in the House and Senate.