Federal Shutdown May Affect Grant Money For Houston

Photo by Pat Hernandez

Houston City Hall's American Flag
The federal government shutdown is already having an effect inside Houston's City Hall. City department heads are assessing whether federal funding for several local grants may be in jeopardy.

The federal government shutdown has already shuttered the air traffic control tower at Ellington Field and furloughed more than
3,000 workers at NASA's Johnson Space Center.

Now the City of Houston is feeling the effects.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker says there are seven federal employees who work with the city's health department and other
federal employees who are embedded in various city departments.

"Those have been furloughed. Now it shouldn't impact the direct provision of services across the city, but we have made an inquiry to all the city departments to let us know what the short term and long term impacts are going to be from the government shutdown."

Parker says the city also receives federal reimbursement grants for certain local projects and it's unclear if there will be problems
with collecting those reimbursements.

"TB testing and monitoring is something that we receive federal grants for and I believe that is one area where we actually had some embedded federal employees who have been furloughed. But the actual day to day work is still going on and we intend to continue business as usual as long as we can."

Parker says there's not am immediate impact on the city's budget, but if the shutdown lasts longer than a few weeks, the city may 
start feeling the pinch from not getting paid for services rendered.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...