Boehner wouldn’t budge, calling the president’s position, a “my-way-or-the-highway approach.”
“The president’s insistence on steamrolling ahead with his flawed program is irresponsible,” the speaker responded.
The federal government has been partially shut down since midnight Monday, when the House refused to sign off on the federal budget unless the president’s signature healthcare initiative was defunded. Since then the House has tried several times to pass bills that would fund specific items like pay for veterans, or opening the nation’s parks. Those efforts have all failed.
Thursday back in South Florida, a day after limits for the National Institutes of Health made headlines, it was the fear of food drying up and a prohibition on fishing in waters of Florida Bay that took center stage.
Charter guides received a message from the National Park Service this week informing them that they are not permitted to take clients fishing in Florida Bay until the feds get back to work. That means that more than 1,100 square miles of prime fishing is off limits between the southern tip of the mainland to the Keys until further notice.
The closing affects not only fishing guides, but anyone with a license to conduct business in the park, including tour operators and paddling guides — anyone with a Commercial Use Authorization permit, said Dan Kimball, superintendent of Everglades and Dry Tortugas national parks.
Biscayne National Park is also off limits. Enforcement rangers will be on duty, Kimball said.
Capt. Mike Makowski, owner of Blackfoot Charters in Key Largo, estimates this eliminates 60 percent to 70 percent of his hunting grounds.
“This is going to put a lot of guys together in a small area close to the park,” Makowski said. “It’s going to be even worse on the weekend when we’re going to have to compete with the recreational anglers.”
The events in Washington have also affected small business loans. Because of the funding lapse, the Small Business Administration will only fund emergency loans, which means loans now in the works have come to a halt.
“Anybody who’s been waiting for a loan closing can’t close their loans because the bank isn’t closing without the SBA guarantee,” said Marjorie Weber, who chairs a Miami-Dade nonprofit called SCORE. “Everything is at a standstill.
The government shutdown even had folks in the Panhandle a little on edge. With Tropical Storm Karen bearing down and threatening to become a hurricane, the Florida National Guard announced half of its 2,000 full-time federal employees have been furloughed. It translates to valuable equipment that could be deployed during a storm not receiving proper maintenance.
“We will be affected,” said National Guard Capt. Melissa DeLeon. “Our maintenance guys have been furloughed, so they’re not here.”
State emergency managers are working with the National Guard to fund the positions in the short-term with state money. They intend to apply for reimbursement later.
Miami Herald Staff Writers Douglas Hanks, Ina Paiva Cordle and Hannah Sampson, and Keynoter Reporter David Goodhue contributed to this report, which was also supplemented with material from the Associated Press and News Service of Florida.