Experts: Government shutdown could affect Las Vegans - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Experts: Government shutdown could affect Las Vegans

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The rotunda of the U.S. Capitol is seen in this undated imaged. (File) The rotunda of the U.S. Capitol is seen in this undated imaged. (File)
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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Anxiety around the nation is high as the deadline for a government shutdown gets closer. Officials say a government shutdown would lead to furloughs and closures that would affect all Las Vegas residents and tourists.

On Sunday afternoon, Lake Mead National Recreation Area was packed with people enjoying the breezy weather. Park rangers say this time of year, more than 14,000 people visit the park daily. Tuesday morning, all of those people could be shut out of the park if the government shuts down, closing the park completely and furloughing 75 percent of the employees.

"That's a lof of people on furlough, and it's just a ripple effect," said Dave Rich, who spent the day on the lake with his family. He's among many people concerned about the local effects of a government shutdown.

Officials from the Nevada National Guard say roughly 60 percent of the force would have to stop reporting for duty immediately if Congress doesn't reach a resolution before midnight on Monday. That would mean 530 fewer federal technicians flying aircraft, maintaining equipment and responding to state emergencies.

"It's hard to transfer over half of our work to less than half of the force," explained National Guard Spokesperson Dennis Fournier. He says furloughed employees may never get backpay for the time they couldn't work. Even non-furloughed employees could have to wait weeks for their next paychecks, he says.

FOX5 Political Analyst Mitch Fox is in Washington D.C. and will be on Capitol Hill when the deadline expires. He says even those people who don't work for the federal government will feel effects of a shutdown eventually.

"If the economy takes a downturn because of the debt ceiling or the government shutdown, what's the first thing (tourists) cut? Discretionary spending and tourism dollars. So they're less likely to come to Las Vegas," Fox said in a Skype interview.

Fox says social security, border patrol, national security and air travel won't be affected, at least in the early stages of a government shutdown.

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