federal government shutdown

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

 Positive Train Control is said to be a lifesaver, but its implementation is being delayed.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Representative Elizabeth Esty continues her conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock. 


The December 13th deadline for a bipartisan federal budget deal to avoid another partial government shutdown in January is a week away.  Negotiators, headed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan—a Republican and Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray—a Democrat, appear to be making progress.   WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Jo Comerford, Executive Director of the National Priorities Project—a Northampton-based research center.

Dr. Alan Chartock's Morning Commentary

Oct 21, 2013

WAMC political observer Dr. Alan Chartock talks about the state of of the GOP party and its relation to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz post government shutdown. Cruz has vowed to keep fighting President Obama's Affordable Health Care Act.

Chartock also gives his thoughts on New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's chief of staff Judy Rapfogel hiring a lawyer in connection with her husband’s criminal case.

Connecticut's U.S. Senators they believe much of the money lost to the state during the 16-day federal government shutdown can be recouped.

Democrats Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy say the state lost about $14.8 million in salary and benefits and about 1,000 jobs that were not created during the shutdown.

Mass. Senate Backs Spending Bill

Oct 18, 2013

The Massachusetts Senate has approved a $94 million dollar spending bill that includes additional funds to help low-income families pay their winter heating bills and provide shelter for homeless families in hotels and motels.

The measure passed by the Senate on Thursday is similar to one approved a day earlier by the House. Negotiators from the two chambers will now meet to resolve differences.

Lawmakers said the $20 million for heating assistance will address delays in funding for the program resulting from the federal government shutdown that ended on Thursday.

Bill Owens Shares Concerns About Future Shutdown

Oct 17, 2013

Although the government shutdown’s over, North Country New York Democratic Congressman Bill Owens says having a deal that addresses getting the federal deficit under control is essential to avoiding another congressional deadlock in Washington come January.

“The primary focus from my perspective is making sure we do not have this kind of an issue on either January 15 or February 7 again. The only way we can get there is by having a deal that addresses a lot of legitimate concerns about how we get the deficit under control and then ultimately the debt,” Owens said.

wikipedia commons

The Massachusetts Senate has passed a bill that would expand benefits and services for the Commonwealth’s veterans and their families.


Sean Eldridge, a Democratic candidate for Congress who is challenging Republican Chris Gibson in the 2014 race for the 19th District seat, tells WAMC that the government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis are proof that America needs new leadership.

NPCA Photos/flickr

Frustration is growing over the federal government shutdown and approaching deadline for raising the government’s debt ceiling.  Members of a progressive group in Massachusetts that advocates raising taxes on the rich, cutting military spending, and increasing funds for social programs are planning protests. Members of  Budget for All are going to demonstrate today in Boston and on Friday in Northampton.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Marty Nathan, one of the leaders of Budget For All Western Massachusetts.

Civilian Workers Picket At West Point Gate

Oct 16, 2013

WEST POINT – Civilian employees at West Point who have been furloughed because of the federal government shutdown, gathered outside Thayer Gate on Tuesday to call for an end to the “irresponsibility displayed by Republicans in Congress.”

Donald Hale, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 2367, called for an end to the gridlock in Washington.

Malloy: Conn. Working On Shutdown Contingency Plan

Oct 16, 2013

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy says his administration is working on a plan to help fund some programs in Connecticut affected by the partial federal government shutdown.

The Democrat said Tuesday the contingency plan will be released in the "coming days," but warned that the state does not have an unlimited amount to spend.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The U.S. is in the 15th day of a government shutdown, and potential deals may be in the works to open Washington back up and end the looming threat of default.


By a large margin Republicans get blamed for the shutdown of the federal government in a recent poll of voters in Massachusetts conducted by the Western New England University Polling Institute. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with polling institute director Tim Vercellotti

Heat, Rent Subsidies In Danger If Shutdown Lingers

Oct 11, 2013
NPCA Photos/flickr

Millions of low-income Americans in Massachusetts could face delays in receiving help paying their heating bills and monthly rent if the federal government shutdown lingers several more weeks.

That's according to local agencies and state officials who administer the programs.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, and a voucher program that allows poor families, seniors and the disabled live in private rental units could be impacted starting next month.

  Congress’ unpopularity is hitting new lows during the shutdown.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Tim Vercellotti, director of the Western New England University poll and professor of political science, tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that Republicans appear to be taking most of the blame.

US Air Force

On the seventh day of the federal government shutdown, thousands of civilian employees returned to work Monday at a half dozen military bases in Massachusetts.

       The 270 civilian employees at Westover Air Reserve base in Chicopee went to work Monday as a result of a decision by the Secretary of Defense. Lt. Col. James Bishop, the chief public affairs officer at the base, said the civilians were notified over the weekend to come back to work.


Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick had some harsh words the federal government as he made stops in the western part of the state today.

“It’s embarrassing," said Patrick.

“The Tea Party Republicans are playing a big game with the lives of some little people frankly,” he said. “I think that’s got to end.”

The democrat says this is not a new issue, but it has reached a new level.


As the nation endures day three of the partial federal government shutdown, New York’s congressional representatives from the Hudson Valley say they’re trying to open all the closed doors. 

10/3/13 - Panel

Oct 3, 2013

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, newsman Ray Graf and University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao. Joe Donahue moderates.

Topics include:
Fiscal Crisis
Costs of Shutdown
Tom Clancy

Keith Strudler: Government Shutdown Halts Sports Too

Oct 2, 2013

For the past several years, the military academies, Army, Navy, Air Force, have been at something of a disadvantage in sports, at least in the context of major Division I football. There’s a whole lot of reasons for that. They’ve got that unseemly burden of training both for football and for war. There’s not a lot of gut majors to work with. And as a recruiting pitch, coaches can promise high school stars guaranteed employment upon graduation, most likely in Iraq. That’s not a great sales pitch for any kid dreaming about a different kind of uniform, namely one with an NFL logo on it.

photo provided

North Country New York Democratic Congressman Bill Owens, in a conference call with reporters hours after the federal government shut down over a budget impasse, said Congress has forgotten the importance of civilian workers.

The Massachusetts economy is already feeling the impact of  federal budget cuts.  Leading regional economists warn the federal government shutdown and the looming debt ceiling crisis could compound the problems.

Western Mass. Waiting on Word from Washington

Sep 30, 2013

As a government shutdown looms, federally-funded programs in western Massachusetts are playing the waiting game.

With gridlock in Washington, one result of a shutdown could be the delaying of benefits to the state’s 394,000 military veterans. Rosanne Frieri is the Director of Veterans’ Services for the City of Pittsfield. She says she doesn’t expect a significant immediate impact on her office or the more than 130 veterans it currently serves.