City Government
4:45 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

San Antonio Continues Monitoring Effects Of Government Shutdown

The federal government shutdown could impact cities the longer it continues. Tom Downs, the City of San Antonio's federal consultant, believes an agreement might be in the works, but city leaders are closely watching out for possible consequences.

Downs held a video-conference with city leaders on Wednesday from his office in Washington, D.C. and said he's closely monitoring the situation for San Antonio.

The mood for compromise has been slow because the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate want different things.

But a close examination of what's happening may signal a compromise may be near at hand.

"What they're doing now -- what they've done [this week] -- the House Republicans are passing targeted or mini CR's (continuing resolutions) that would fund certain programs," Downs said. "One bill passed that would fund just Head Start alone. Another passed that would fund local schools, and keep everything else de-funded."

It's uncertain how programs like Head Start and WIC, the nutrition program for women, infants and children, will be affected the longer a shutdown lasts.

Jeff Coyle, the city's intergovernmental relations director, said there could be a delay in federal reimbursements to cities because federal employees aren't at their desks writing the checks.

"It's just a matter of the city footing the bill in the short term and being reimbursed later from the federal government," Coyle said.

Of course, essential services still have to carry on.

"There's not going to be a stop in TSA screening at the airport," Coyle said.

He said if the shutdown lasts beyond October, programs like Head Start and WIC may not get the funding they need to continue operating, but only time will tell what the more lasting impacts will be.