Government Shutdown Could Close Local Museum

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In a strict party-line vote, the U-S Senate has passed legislation that would temporarily avert a partial-government shutdown. And it also stripped out a House amendment that would de-fund the Affordable Care Act...known as Obamacare.

Unless the House follows suit, the current budget for federal funding expires Monday night at midnight. That could mean a default on US loans, and a shutdown of any non-essential government agency. It's a big "if", but it could hit as early as Tuesday.

The George Bush Presidential Library opened its doors in 1997 and has since become one of the most visited year-round tourist attractions in Bryan- College Station.

"This is a wonderful resource for all Americans to have and for especially us Texans,” said one visitor.

“The George Bush Presidential Library here in Bryan College Station sees about 135, 145 to 150,000 visitors each year,” said Bryan-College Station Visitors and Convention Bureau Vice President and CEO, Shannon Overby. “I'd say about 60 percent of those visitors are from out of town.”

Friday the Patel family made a special visit from Houston.

"This is our day off from school and we brought our 11-year-old here today specifically just so we can visit the library,” said Mrs. Patel.

"I'm looking forward to seeing all of the artifacts and seeing all of the presidents and what was going on and just learning about new things,” said 11-year-old Anjana Patel.

In the coming months as many as 800,000 of the nation's 2.1 million federal workers could be furloughed; this means many federal agencies, including this very museum would shut their doors and send employees home.

“Places like this would be severely affected if we had a government shut-down which would be very sad,” said Mrs. Patel.

Monday at midnight is the deadline for Congress to reach an agreement on funding the government.

“If anything were to happen, we'd hope it would be short-lived because we do rely on a lot of government, both state and federal in our community,” said Overby.

If an agreement cannot be reached, visitors at the museum hope the shut-down will be short-lived.

The last shutdown, which took place during the Clinton administration, lasted three weeks.