NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Congress could see a federal shutdown starting Sunday, October 1. Democratic New Mexico Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury, representing central New Mexico, is letting residents know how they might be impacted.
The federal shutdown could mean local offices of federal agencies get temporarily closed. Stansbury says 94 agencies have offices in New Mexico, and over 25,000 people could be without a paycheck during the shutdown.
New Mexico’s military bases may ask 11,478 people to work without pay, Stansbury said in a message to New Mexicans. Federal workers at the Sunport could be impacted too.
New Mexicans receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will still go out for 30 days after a shutdown begins. But if a new budget isn’t passed by November, the 484,576 New Mexicans that receive SNAP could see their payments stop, Stansbury says.
Medicare, Medicaid, and disability insurance will continue unless the shutdown lasts longer than three months, Stansbury said. Veterans Affairs facilities will stay open, and federal/military retirees will continue to get benefits during the shutdown.
Social Security checks will keep coming during the shutdown, Stansbury says. And post offices will remain open, according to reporting from The Hill.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says a shutdown could threaten long-term disaster recovery funding. FEMA told KRQE News 13: “In light of the Disaster Relief Fund reaching a minimal threshold, FEMA has undertaken significant measures to ensure we meet the immediate needs of survivors when disasters strike. However, this is not a permanent solution. While we are postured to carry out our lifesaving and life-sustaining missions, the long-term recovery needs of communities will suffer as we are forced to pause payments for public assistance and hazard mitigation projects. The bottom line is this: FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund must be replenished in order for us to help all communities fully recover.”
New Mexico has asked federal employees in the state to connect with the Department of Workforce Solutions if they want to file for unemployment. More details on how to do that can be found in this KRQE News 13 story.