Digging Deeper: Shutdown's impact in Rhode Island - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Digging Deeper: Shutdown's impact in Rhode Island

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NEWPORT, R.I. -

Unless an eleventh-hour deal is reached, the federal government will partially close up shop at midnight Monday.

The country went through this on a smaller scale when the federal government enacted the sequester, but a shutdown is much more severe.

Head Start will be shut down. Small business loans in process will be stopped. And hundreds of workers at Naval Station Newport will start losing paychecks right away.

About 4,200 civilian employees work at Naval Station Newport in 50 different commands. The largest contingent is at the Undersea Warfare Center -- about 3,000 -- and they will not be affected.

But many of the other 1,200 workers -- those not involved in security or other essential activities -- could come in Tuesday and get a furlough letter, lasting as long as the government remains unfunded.

Experts say military contractors won't feel the effects unless the shutdown lasts for more than a week.

Amtrak trains will run.

Mail will be delivered.

But with 7,000 federal employees statewide, there will be a ripple effect.

"So, it takes a lot of liquidity out of the economy, and it takes a lot of money out of the economy, and even people not directly affected by it will see an economic slowdown," said U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.

Whitehouse repeated the Democratic talking point that this effort by House Republicans to fight the Affordable Care Act, a fight he says they already lost.

"This is an effort by hostage-taking methods to do the things they couldn't get accomplished just playing under the regular rules," Whitehouse said.

In the House of Representatives, the blame is being put on Speaker John Boehner.

If the spending bill was put before the full House, Democratic U.S. Rep. David Cicilline told MSNBC on Monday that it would pass.

"This is a moment for Speaker Boehner to be Speaker of the House of Representatives for our entire country and not be speaker of a caucus and not worry about his standing within the Republican caucus but do what's right for our country," Cicilline said.

The deadline for a spending plan is midnight Monday. President Obama still hopes it can be passed before then.

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