Temporary Government Shutdown Hits Idaho Creating Uncertainty

Jan 22, 2018

Senators in Washington D.C. came up with an arrangement to fund the government for an additional three weeks as they hash out major policy issues.
Credit wbeem / Flickr

Over the weekend and into Monday, the federal government temporarily shut down as Democrats and Republicans failed to reach agreements on several contentious issues. By Monday afternoon, senators said they had worked out an arrangement to reopen the government.

A temporary resolution to the shutdown may have been worked out, but it came too late for federal employees at Craters of the Moon National Monument. When reached by phone, an automated message at the monument informed callers: “Due to the government shutdown, our park visitor’s center is currently closed. Park personnel will not be available to provide guidance, assistance, maintenance or emergency response.”

As the rangers at Craters spent the day furloughed, administrators at Boise State University were exploring ramifications of the shutdown. The Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Mark Rudin, says research at the school could be impacted.

“Even though researchers will be able to charge through their current grants, new opportunities won’t be available to our people,” he says. “So, it could be a drag on the research enterprise at Boise State and other universities if this is prolonged.”

While a resolution is being ironed out in Washington D.C. to fund the government for an additional three weeks, Rudin says the inherent uncertainty makes planning difficult both for the university and government agencies.

“My fear is that there’s really going to be a self-imposed kind of hoarding of resources until we have real certainty with the budget situation,” according to Rudin. “Even though these agency folks will return back to work, they still don’t know what budgets they have to work with, what opportunities they can pursue.”

Rudin anticipates most, if not all, currently funded projects at the university will continue without interruption.

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