How the partial government shutdown could affect San Diegans

SAN DIEGO -- Thousands of government employees in San Diego County will be affected because of the partial government shutdown.

University of San Diego Economics Professor Alan Gin said nationwide, about 800,000 government employees will be impacted. Departments include Homeland Security, Justice, Interior, State, Housing and Urban Development, Treasury, Agriculture, Transportation and Commerce.

“The biggest sector that is going to be impacted is Homeland Security and so people at the airport, the TSA and also border patrol," Gin said.

The workers Gin mentioned are considered essential so they will continue to work, but likely will not get paid until after the shutdown.

A TSA spokesperson sent FOX 5 a statement which read in part:

“Travelers will see no difference in security.  TSA officers, TSA canine handlers and their canines, TSA explosives experts, TSA inspectors -- all frontline security personnel -- will be working. They will not be paid during the furlough. However, historically they have been paid once the furlough ends.”

For those traveling back and forth from San Diego to Mexico, Gin said there should be no dramatic changes at the border because of the shutdown.

Gin added most of us will not really feel the effects of the partial shutdown, but things could get tight for the some 420,000 employees expected to work without pay and the other 380,000 placed on furlough.

“What could happen though is that there could be an indirect effect in the sense that if these government workers don’t get a paycheck, they may cut back on their spending to sort of ration their money and so if you’re a store owner or restaurant or something like that you might see a little bit of decline in terms of traffic,” Gin said.

On to national parks, like the Cabrillo National Monument, Gin said they will not close -- but there could be changes.

“People, for example, working in maintenance might be affected and if they’re affected that might mean that some of the buildings might not be able to be opened,” Gin said.

Gin touched on parks and travel, but what about mail? FOX 5 reached out to USPS and received the following statement:

"Although we are federal employees, we are not affected by government shutdowns. The Postal Service does not receive tax dollars. We are self-supporting and we fund our operations with the revenues from the sales of our products and services."

One government-funded operation that also said not to worry is NORAD. NORAD said it will be there to track Santa Claus' travel this holiday season.

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