Federal Shutdown Hitting Home


Bunker Hill Monument is closed.

Until Democrats and Republicans in Congress get their acts together the government shutdown that began Tuesday will have a deep affect on tourism and education in Charlestown.

As a result of the shutdown, tours of U.S.S. Constitution, the Bunker Hill Monument and Freedom Trail have been suspended.

These sites bring hundreds of tourists everyday to the neighborhood to visit the historic landmarks, eat at notable restaurants like the Warren Tavern and shop at local businesses.

City Councilor Sal LaMattina said with fall being peak tourist season for Boston he’s worried about the shutdown’s affects here.

“Its terrible to the tourist industry in Boston particularly in Charlestown,” said LaMattina. “It’s really frustrating and bad for the whole neighborhood that the two sides in Congress can’t come to their senses because people are getting hurt.”

LaMattina said this time of year tourist flock to Boston by the busloads to visit Old Iron Sides, walk the Freedom Trail on guided tours and climb to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument.

“These are all important historic landmarks in Boston and places hundreds of thousands of people visit every year,” said LaMattina. “Charlestown sees a huge peak in tourism around this time as people flock to New England and Boston during the autumn months. I think it will hurt business in the neighborhood.”

At schools like the Warren Prescott in Charlestown, school officials will have to hold off on field trips to the famed neighborhood sites until the shutdown is resolved, robbing students of the opportunity to learn about the rich history in Charlestown as one of the birthplaces of American Independence.

Under the separation of powers created by the United States Constitution, both the Senate and House of Representatives must approve an agreed budget, which then goes to the President of the United States for signature. If the President vetoes the budget, it goes back to Congress, where the veto can be overridden by a two-thirds vote. Government shutdowns tend to occur when the President and one or both of the chambers of Congress are unable to resolve disagreements over budget allocations before the existing budget cycle ends.

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