Last night, after what seems like years of cheesy prop and sign-aided grandstanding, Congress failed to reach an agreement on how to fund the government and they shut that whole thing down (aside: imagine if Todd Akin were a Senator. LOL). But this GOP temper tantrum isn't all all humorously dramatic pandacam mourning and petulant government nerd pants-shitting; this shutdown is going to affect a lot of people, many of whom are not furloughed federal employees — many of whom are just regular women, like you and me. Here's how we're all about to get crapped on.
Ladies who don't want to get the flu
The butt-clowns whose endless grandstanding caused the shutdown will still get paid because they are "essential government employees" (related: the word "essential," like the words "awesome" and "curvy," means nothing now; its definition has been obliterated by overuse). But you know who won't get paid? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's influenza program.
We're sorry, but we will not be tweeting or responding to @ replies during the government shutdown. We'll be back as soon as possible!— CDC Flu (@CDCFlu) October 1, 2013
That means no strategic work to be done on how flu vaccines should be distributed. No research into what strains are going to be passed around your kid's kindergarten class like a meme that makes your head feel like it's full of pus. And just in time for flu season! Weeeee!
Silver lining: the flu doesn't differentiate between essential and nonessential federal employees, so here's hoping for an annoying but nonlethal outbreak among the Tea Party caucus that causes mass snotting all over their Brooks Brothers suits. They've earned it.
A DC Democrat close to the government clusterfuck pointed out that Senior Nutrition Grants, which provide healthy meals (and other stuff) to 2.5 million seniors per year, won't continue. Women's longer lifespans mean that there are more elderly women than elderly men, which means... more women will likely be affected. SORRY, OLD LADIES! Ted Cruz has a point to make!
Federally employed ladies
The federal civilian workforce is 57% male ,but that doesn't mean ladies won't be screwed here, too; for federal female employees (as for most Americans), missing one paycheck is a big deal. And the longer the government shutdown keeps 800,000 "non-essential" government employees paycheckless, the more it will hurt families.
After the last shutdown (17 years ago), federal employees who were placed on temporary involuntary vacay were eventually given backpay. But this time it might be different, as this time we have a Tea Party and the Tea Party is made up of people who think that people should just use Jesus to fix everything. Sick kid? Needs Jesus! Out of work? Try some Jesus! Disabled? Have you considered Jesus? These people use Jesus like an old country grandma uses olive oil. Unfortunately, prayers and hopeful America montages don't have enough calories to support a child's successful physical development.
Social Security benefits will continue after the shutdown, but the SSA won't be able to schedule new hearings for people applying for Social Security disability benefits. Although technically if you're disabled it should be way easier to pick yourself up by your own bootstraps, on account of the fact that you can just use your Walt Jr. crutches to hoist yourself up. AMIRITE, HERITAGE FOUNDATION!? John McCain High Five!
Ladies who put on a military uniform and got shot at in a foreign country
Hoo boy. Veterans are getting hosed during the shutdown; if it lasts for more than 2 weeks, millions won't receive benefits. People who were ostensibly DEFENDING OUR FREEDOM from the invisible forces of competing anti-liberty ideologies and were injured in the process. Great patriotism, Congress.
Hate the poor? Hate women? Triple star deluxe hate poor women? Then you're going to love this: the WIC program, which provides healthy food vouchers to low income pregnant women and new mothers, won't be able to continue nationally if the shutdown lasts a couple of weeks. And if the shutdown lasts through the end of the month, SNAP — FOOD STAMPS — will run out of funds at the federal level, according to Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security at the National Women's Law Center. Entmacher told me via phone that individual states can opt to keep the programs running in the event of an extended shutdown with the expectation that once the government's running again, they'll be reimbursed. But the longer Congress holds its breath, the murkier things get and the less clear it is where the money will come from to keep all these poor people not-dead. It's an exciting time.
Child Ladies Who Attend Head Start/Their Lady Moms
Here's another treat for people who hate poor people: Head Start may have to be put on pause. From Think Progress:
Initially, only about 20 programs would be affected — the programs whose federal grants expire on Oct. 1 and don't get renewed. Over time, more programs would likely be affected. The effects really vary from community to community. In York County, S.C., for instance, pre-kindergarten classes for some 864 kids will be canceled this Friday.
Canceling school for poor kids. What, were there no orphanages to blow up?
Business owning ladies
The Small Business Administration won't be able to make any new non-emergency loans during a government shutdown. That means that your dream opening of an erotic bakery or an erotic car detailing business or an erotic law office will have to be put on hold. Sorry.
This is far from an exhaustive list of all the programs and services that will be affected if the government shuts down for longer than a week or so (for a good time, go ahead and research how this will affect food inspection. Then throw away all of your meat products and then set your garbage can on fire.) And for what? Over a law that makes it easier for people go to the doctor when they're sick? This is like reacting to your neighbors planting new rhododendrons by taking their son hostage. This is like giving anthrax as a bridal shower gift.
Image via Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.