Monday morning, military service members and their families across Abilene were on pins and needles over the possibility of a government shutdown. Soldiers would be reporting for duty this morning, yet would not see a paycheck. The inevitable did, in fact, occur however; to the relief of Dyess Air Force Base, things occurred much differently than originally feared.
In the nick of time
For the first time in 17 years, Congress missed the deadline after being unable to settle their differences over ObamaCare. This led to an inevitable shutdown as Democrats refused to change one single word of the proposed healthcare plan. One proposal the Senate Democrats were willing to accept was a bill that would pay the military in the event of a shutdown. The House was unanimous in the passing of this emergency bill. Although this averts immediate crisis for the military service members, it does not for many others. For others, the consequences of the government shut-down remain grim.
Shutdown or slim down
According to a report by FoxNews, what the Obama administration is describing as a shutdown is appearing to be more of a slim down as all essential personnel and services are working and functioning. The US mail is delivering Social Security checks to recipients and the military saw payday however; around 800,000 federal workers are facing furlough. While many here in Abilene, Texas are breathing a sigh of relief, it remains bittersweet as friends, family and coworkers faced today without jobs. A top aide to Republican leader John Boehner told CNBC ‘the government shutdown could last a week or longer but that near-term budget talks toward a resolution are possible’.
Coping with furlough
Furlough can cause a large amount of stress however; do not despair. There are many resources available to those currently dealing with a reduction or complete loss of work hours. The City of Abilene has much to offer through our local Workforce Solutions office located at 400 Oak Street. The specialized staff can assist you in finding resources and opportunities such as part time and temporary employment or even assist if a change of career is your desire. They are also equipped in assisting with unemployment benefits needs for those who qualify.