York County government safe from shutdown — for now — but some federal services shuttered

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

The government shutdown at the federal level hasn't yet affected York County government operations, but if it continues indefinitely, that could change.

President Donald Trump is at a budgetary impasse with Congress over his request for $5.7 billion for a wall at the southern border.

As of Tuesday, Jan. 8, the shutdown has lasted 18 days.

York County spokesman Mark Walters said the following human services agencies would be impacted by an indefinite shutdown:

  • York/Adams Drug & Alcohol Commission
  • Area Agency on Aging
  • Office of Children, Youth and Families
  • York/Adams HealthChoices Management Unit
  • York/Adams MH-IDD Program (Mental Health/Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities)
  • Youth Development Center

Walters said most of the county's federal funding flows through the state, so the impact would be indirect.

For the time being, local offices of federal agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service, are the ones feeling the brunt of the shutdown.

More:What air travelers should know about the government shutdown

More:AP Explains: Can Trump declare emergency to build his wall?

A recorded answering message at the local IRS office at 2670 Industrial Highway said the office is closed "due to the current budget situation" and that all tax filing deadlines are still in effect.

    The Internal Revenue Service building is shown in Springettsbury Township, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. Dawn J. Sagert photo

    The White House announced Monday, Jan. 7, that the IRS will process tax refunds during the shutdown, but the automated answering message was still operating at the Industrial Highway office as of Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 8.

    A representative for the Social Security Administration said SSA offices are not affected by the shutdown because the department is already fully funded through the end of fiscal year 2019 and that Social Security benefits will continue to be paid on time.

    Parks: In addition to federal administrative agencies, the country's national parks also are waiting for their funding stream to be restored.

    An alert posted to the Gettysburg National Military Park website said the park itself, which is in Adams County, is closed during the government shutdown but that park roads, monuments and trails will stay open unless inclement weather forces further closure.

    The Gettysburg National Cemetery and Annex, as well as the David Wills House museum and Eisenhower National Historic Site, will remain closed during the shutdown, and all programming is canceled.

    President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on Jan. 4, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

    Toomey frustrated: In a radio interview Monday, Jan. 7, with WSBA Morning News host Gary Sutton, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said he's frustrated with the situation.

    "Democratic colleagues have supported this many, many times in the past," Toomey said, referring to funding a physical barrier at the border. "Now, because they think that Donald Trump is taking the heat for the shutdown, they don’t want to end the shutdown."

    Toomey said no one is talking about building a continuous 2,000-mile wall of concrete along the border.

    More:VIDEO: Trump says he could use emergency powers to build wall

    More:EDITORIAL: Urgency needed in shutdown talks

    "It wouldn’t make sense," Toomey said. "But there are portions of the border where a physical barrier really does make sense, and that’s what we ought to be doing."

    The Hill reported on Sunday, Jan. 6, that after meeting with advisers at Camp David and consulting with Vice President Mike Pence, who held meetings with Democratic congressional leaders, the president said he would ask for a steel barrier instead of a concrete wall.

    "It'll be less obtrusive, stronger, and we'll be able to use our great companies to make it by using steel," the president said in a video.

    FILE - In this photo March 22, 2013 file photo, the exterior of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington. The IRS website to make payments went down on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The IRS did not have an immediate explanation for the failure. But it said on its website that its online payment system became unavailable at 2:50 A.M. ET on Tuesday.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

    Casey response: In a statement released Monday, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said the effects of the shutdown continue to trickle down to average American families.

    "The President should support the bipartisan funding bill that the U.S. Senate passed unanimously," the statement said. "It provides over $1 billion for border security funding, but not a wall that security experts say won’t work.”

    Trump announced Monday on Twitter that he will deliver a television address at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, to discuss "the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border."