PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The National Guard won’t be marching in this weekend’s Columbus Day Parade in Providence, one more way in which Rhode Island is feeling the effects of the ongoing federal shutdown.
While most of the Guard’s civilian employees have been recalled to work, the government shutdown means the Guard doesn’t have the funds to participate in events like the parade. If the shutdown goes on too long, the Guard may be forced to skip Veterans Day events too, according to Lt. Col. Peter Parente, a spokesman for the Guard.
“These things require federal dollars — to pay soldiers, to pay for fuel for vehicles,” Parente said. “It’s too bad, because some of the younger service members really enjoy being part of them. Many of them have served overseas, and now they get to do something in their own communities.”
The shutdown has also closed the state’s national wildlife refuges and the Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence, and furloughed federal workers in Rhode Island including some at the U.S. attorney’s office.
Rhode Island businesses are also feeling the impact. Pawtucket’s Foolproof Brewing Company is delaying production of its Russian imperial stout because it needs a federal agency — the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau — to sign off on its new bottle label.
Even though the agency is not able to review the new label, Foolproof founder and president Nick Garrison said his brewing company is still expected to pay federal excise taxes on the beer it produces.
Garrison said he hopes the agency reopens soon so his company can proceed with plans to release the beer in time for the winter months.
“We’re in a holding pattern, just watching the clock, watching the calendar,” Garrison said. “It bugs everyone, because you don’t want to mess with people’s beer.”
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