U.S. Congress

Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-01) will vote in favor of a bipartisan Senate plan that will reopen the U.S. Government and increase the U.S. debt limit.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear needs more information to determine if funding the Commonwealth’s federal parks during the partial government shutdown is a feasible plan.

This post was last updated at 7:19 p.m. ET.

After an hour-long meeting with President Obama, Republicans said they have agreed to keep talking, in hopes of bridging a gulf that has already led to a government shutdown and is threatening the first default in U.S. history.

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Austin Peay State University may lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process, but it plans to float tuition for soldier-students if the government shutdown continues.

The partial U.S. government shutdown is leaving some field offices and public lands in the WKMS listening area understaffed or closed entirely.

U.S. Forestry Service-managed Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is only under federal security. Forestry lands are under a seven-day shutdown process, and un-furloughed employees are only responsible for protection of lands and research and prevention of fires or other damages to public property. LBL’s website states that it is closed, along with all federal offices, and it links potential visitors to the USDA website, which is also temporarily shut down.

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The federal government shutdown has prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District to close all of its campgrounds and day-use parks at noon Friday.  The district had announced that it intended to keep these areas open as scheduled, but they say support to the recreation areas can’t be sustained. 

Kentucky state Reps. Joni Jenkins and Mary Lou Marzian are highlighting the effects of the federal government shutdown on women.

The two Democrats were in Washington, D.C., this week meeting with lawmakers and hope Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell will keep those adverse impacts in mind as potential negotiations begin.

"Certainly the furloughing of employees—half of those or more are going to be single females who are heads of families—and I don't know how many of your listeners can go without paycheck for a day, a week or possibly longer," said Jenkins, whose district covers parts of western Jefferson County. "That money not coming into our communities is going to trickle down to all sorts of businesses."

Beyond federal workers there is growing concern about social services that could be impacted.

Almost 9 million new mothers and young children rely on programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children or WIC. But federal officials have warned funding for WIC could run out in the next week or so.

Observers expect the shutdown to last at least that long even as President Obama is inviting congressional leaders, including McConnell, to the White House Wednesday afternoon to possibly negotiate.

Marzian says the shutdown is a disaster for women on a number of fronts and low-income mothers in particular, adding the blame should be on Tea Party-backed Republicans in the House.

"It's going to really effect women being able to feed their families and pay their rent as these programs run out of money in the next weeks," she says. "But the Tea Party and these right-wing Republicans care nothing about women and children. They only care about themselves and pushing their agenda forward. However, they care about fetuses but once you’re here you’re on your own."

Last year, over 132,000 pregnant women and new mothers in Kentucky received nutrition assistance through WIC programs for their young children.


All of the Commonwealth's 49 state parks remain open despite the ongoing federal government shutdown. Kentucky Parks Department spokesman Gil Lawson said it's easy for the public to confuse federally-run parks with those administered by the state.

"Many of our parks-like Barren River-are on Corps of Engineers lakes, and the federal campgrounds may be closed, but the state campgrounds will be open," said Lawson. "Sometimes they share the same lake and the same name, but we're just wanting to get the word out that all state park campgrounds and state park properties are open."

Beth Hester

Two Allen County basket makers are in Washington D.C. to see their work featured in a new exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution.

But their plans could be ruined because of the government shutdown.

With the possibility of a federal shutdown only hours away, government agencies have produced detailed contingency plans of how the shutdown would affect their operations as well as services in our listening area. 

If Congress cannot pass  a spending bill by midnight, most federal agencies will tell non-essential government employees to stay home on Tuesday. However, a few entities are considered essential programs and will continue to operate under mandatory spending.