BUFFALO, N.Y. — All eyes are on Washington as lawmakers of Capitol Hill are racing against the clock to try to head off a government shutdown. Republicans and Democrats are hitting an impasse over DACA and funding for the president's proposed border wall.
"It's probably going to happen, I don't see anything that's going to avoid that," said Jacob Neiheisel, UB political science professor.
Neiheisel says it appears Democrats and Republican may be too far apart to strike a deal that would keep the government from shutting down. But he's not sure a shutdown means doom and gloom for the average American.
"Basic functions will continue to move forward. You'll still get your mail, if you want to visit a national park that might be a little more difficult, if you're involved with other bureaucratic entities, trying to get a license from something, or if you're involved in the process of getting a passport or a visa, that might become a little more difficult. But for the majority of individuals who are not federal employees, life continues as you would expect," said Neiheisel.
In Western New York, there are about 5,000 federal employees. At the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, some workers could be impacted.
"The biggest federal employer around here is the Niagara Falls Air Base and the troops are going to get paid. If there are civilian personnel there that are deemed non-essential, they may be furloughed and that may affect their operation a little bit. But most of the people are going to be working," said Hardwick.
Canisius College political science professor Kevin Hardwick says because most federal workers get paid on the 1st and the 15th of the month, even if there is a shutdown, there's a small window for lawmakers to reach an agreement.
"If it's not resolved by the first of February, and who knows whether it will or not, they will have to miss a paycheck, eventually they will get back pay, but that's going to create hardship for some families obviously," said Hardwick.
The last time the federal government shut down was in 2013 under the Obama Administration. That lasted about a week.
Hardwick says while the federal government isn't required to have a budget, it does outline the government's priorities. It remains to be seen whether lawmakers can make keeping the government running their top priority.