In the event of a government shutdown, Long Islanders will still get their mail, but they might have to hold off on that trip to Sagamore Hill.
Republicans and Democrats failed to reach an agreement as talks went into the night on Capitol Hill Thursday. Unless an agreement is reached or another temporary bill is passed to keep the government running, the shutdown would begin at midnight tonight.
A shutdown will halt tours to National Parks across the country and thousands of “nonessential” federal workers will face furloughs until a deal in the nation’s capitol is reached.
On Long Island that means families planning spring trips to Long Island’s two national parks, Sagamore Hill and Fire Island Seashore, will have to change their plans.
Tours of the Oyster Bay home of Long Island’s celebrated president, Theodore Roosevelt, will be suspended, and Sagamore Hill will close, a spokeswoman for the national park said. The National Park Service offers tours of the 80-acre park five days a week, Wednesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States and conservationist, lived in Sagamore Hill for 34 years until his death in 1919. His “Summer White House” was the place where the former president invited leaders from all over the world to discuss international issues during the summer months.
Out east, Fire Island’s National Seashore will also close.
Long Islanders may be most directly affected by tax returns if they aren’t filed electronically. The deadline to file returns is April 18.
“The IRS would not be able to process paper-filed tax returns, however, those filed electronically will still be processed and money owed to the government will still be collected,” New York’s IRS spokesperson said. Paper checks will also be delayed.
However, essential services, such as Air Traffic, U.S. Postal Service, Military and Social Security will continue to operate as normal, according to the Associated Press.
A spokesperson for the Brookhaven National Lab said only a extensive shutdown would have an impact on the lab.
“Bottom line is that it will have no real impact for us, we can continue to operate as normal,” the spokesperson said. “Back in 1995 and 1996 there was a five-day shut down and a 21-day shutdown and they didn’t have an impact on us.”
The U.S. Postal Service, which is self-supported, will still remain open, as will the National Weather Service in Upton.
“Agency operational plans are still being finalized, but our current understanding is NOAA will provide weather services to protect lives and property,” a spokesperson said.
“We still believe there is an opportunity to avoid a government shutdown, but are working to ensure that we are prepared for all possible scenarios.”
–With Steven O’Brien and Associated Press