Congress remained in a stalemate Monday afternoon over how to fund the federal government. Republicans want to fund the government without funding Obamacare, while Democrats strongly defend the new government health law.
Midnight was the deadline for Congress to strike a deal.
Without a deal, the government will go into a partial shutdown, sending non-essential workers home and halting non-essential services.
Mail will be delivered and Social Security and Medicare benefits will keep coming.
National parks are set to close, however.
That includes Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park just outside of Marietta.
“What hurts me is they’re going to lose money that most people can’t afford to lose,” said Brad Quinlin, a volunteer and historian of the battlefield. Quinlin lived in Cobb County during the last government shutdown that took place 17 years ago and he expects the closure of Kennesaw Mountain won’t go unnoticed.
“I’m out there all the time. I see so many cars parked in the parking lot that have the license plate Cobb on them,” Quinlin said. “I think it will affect them.”
Fourteen employees of the battlefield will be furloughed while four employees, mostly law enforcement, will remain on the job, said Chief Ranger Anthony Winegar.
He called the situation “fluid” and said he couldn’t disclose exactly how the park will go about closing.
“We would obviously ask for the public’s cooperation and patience,” Winegar said.
Air control at the Cobb County Airport-McCollum Field won’t be affected. The airport got permission from the Cobb County Board of Commissioners earlier this month to pay an outside firm to operate its control tower in case of a government shutdown.
But the threat of disappearing funds for federal air traffic controllers isn’t lingering like it was when Congress narrowly avoided a shutdown last spring. Air traffic controllers will remain on the job.
Military isn’t exempt from the shutdown.
Though essential personnel would stay at work, the majority of the 575 civilian employees at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta will be left without a paycheck until a federal budget is passed.
The base also hosts 1,400 reservists.
Lt. Col. James Wilson, chief public affairs officer, said he estimates about 800 people will be furloughed, including mostly civilian employees and some reservists.
He couldn’t say how many of those employees live in Cobb County but they all work at the Marietta base.
Department of Defense agencies had been directed to start telling their employees what their status would be during a potential shutdown, Wilson said Monday.
wHe acknowledged the situation is disruptive to families of service members, but said functions essential to national security and public safety will continue.
“There is enough time for Congress to prevent a lapse in appropriations, and we hope that Congress will work with the administration to complete a continuing resolution or a full fiscal year 2014 appropriations prior to October first,” Wilson said. “Appropriations uncertainty is not helpful in efficiently executing our budget.”