2 Oct 2013

US budget crisis affects American Samoa

6:21 am on 2 October 2013

Employees of the American Samoa Government and other federally paid employees are now resigned to staying home after Republicans and Democrats in the US Congress failed to agree to a new budget.

The employees of the National Weather Service in Tafuna has informed its workers currently off island for training to return home.

Local weather forecasters will still be required to work to gather and disseminate weather information but they have been told they will not be paid until a budget is approved.

The Fagatele bay National Marine sanctuary office says it will be closed until further notice.

Food vouchers for the American Samoa Nutrition Assistance program and the Women Infant and Children program will not be issued on the first of the month as usual.

The Department of Human and Social Services services which administers the two programs says the distribution will be delayed three days.

A statement from the Department says the delay is necessary to give the department sufficient time to secure temporary funding to pay for the vouchers.

The two programs disburses more than one million US dollars in vouchers each month.