Government Shutdown Could Have Major Impact on Southern Nevada - 8 News NOW

Government Shutdown Could Have Major Impact on Southern Nevada

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LAS VEGAS -- Thee Senate rejected a House proposal that would have avoided a government shutdown but delay the implementation of the health care law.

It was the latest volley in a battle to pass a bill to fund the government for the next few weeks. If a deal is not reached, many government services will shutdown by midnight Monday.

A government shutdown would close a lot of services, force hundreds of government employees to stay home from work and lock up some tourist attractions from the public in the Las Vegas valley.

Three men visiting the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Monday were captivated by a rock climber making his way across the rock formations and frustrated by the lack of progress in Washington, D.C.

"It sounds like they are not really listening to what people want. Nobody wants the government to shut down." Farrell Fand, who is visiting from New Jersey, said.

If Congress can't come to an agreement by midnight, Fand and his friends will be locked out of the national parks they had planned to visit throughout the Southwest.

Most employees of the parks will be locked out too. About 900 employees of Nevada's Bureau of Land Management will be furloughed, leaving about three dozen emergency crews, including firefighters.

A group of BLM employees, who feed and take care of the horses at Red Rock Canyon, will continue working through a possible government shutdown.

"Right now, we don't know what is going to happen," Christie Vanover with the Lake Mead National Recreation Area said.

At Lake Mead, 170 employees face furloughs. They are warning the nearly 15,000 visitors they get every day to not plan trips to the lake just yet.

"If you see that our web page is not working, then you can assume that Lake Mead National Recreation Area is in the process of shutting down temporarily," Vanover said.

That could mean a loss of half-a-million dollars a day to Boulder City's economy.

The impact does not end at national parks and recreation areas. Other people could lose out on work, including 90 percent of Department of Energy, which has a major office in the Las Vegas valley.

At the Department of Veterans Affairs, the media relations employees could be furloughed indefinitely as well.

For the three men from New Jersey, the only danger they face is losing out on a vacation.

"We've got ten days now. If we're not going to the canyon or the national parks, so we've got some time," Leslie Bahler, visiting from New Jersey, said.

They would also be losing big money from reserving hotel rooms across the Southwest they won't use.

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