MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) -- On this second day of a federal government shutdown Tennessee is feeling the impact.
There’s been no apparent progress toward resolution of the budget impasse in the past 24 hours, but no shortage of political rhetoric.
In comments yesterday afternoon, President Obama laid blame for the confrontation at the feet of House Republicans.
“They’ve shutdown the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. In other words, they demand ransom just for doing their job.”
In a speech on the Senate floor, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander complained that Mr. Obama had time to speak to the Iranian president, but no time to meet with Republican negotiators.
“Our goal is fairness for the middleclass, fairness for the taxpayer. Our latest offer from the House Republicans was, ‘Let’s keep the government running, and let’s sit down according to our rules and have a conference and talk about it.”
The effects of the shutdown are already being felt across the state.
The Knoxville News-Sentinel says that1500 civilian Tennessee National Guard employees are now on unpaid leave. Most of the civilian employees at Arnold Air Force base in Tullahoma, a Navy base just north of Memphis, and the army post in Clarksville have been furloughed.
The 12 National Parks located in Tennessee are all closed, including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in East Tennessee, one of the state’s most important economic engines. The park attracts more than a million visitors during October alone.
Perhaps most troubling, the state administered program that provides food to needy women and children – a program operated with federal dollars – may run out of funds within days.