Shutdown Could Impact Local Military Families

By: Liam Martin Email
By: Liam Martin Email

MASON -- Brittany Simon is worried.

"I have to sit around and wait to hope that I go to work Monday morning," she told News 10 on Thursday.

Brittany's a federal technician with the Michigan National Guard. She has two daughters -- one three and the other 19 months -- to support, and says a government shutdown would set her back.

"Just because we don't get a paycheck, the bills still come," she said.

Officials tell News 10 that active duty Michigan National Guard troops who are serving overseas will be paid out of a reserve fund.

But the Pentagon announced this week that Brittany (who's not actively serving overseas) and most other military families with dad or mom serving in Iraq or Afghanistan would see delays in their paychecks under a shutdown.

Yes, they'd be paid retroactively, but Brittany says that would push her finances back, and leave her waiting to find out about a work trip she's due to take this Saturday.

"I don't know if I'm supposed to be there, so I'm gonna drive 2.5 hours, make accommodations for my kids and then what? Be told to drive all the way back home?" she said.

This would be in contrast to the federal government's last shutdown in 1995, in which military personnel continued to show up to work -- and were paid on time.

House Republicans on Thursday approved a resolution to fund the military through the end of this fiscal year, but they tied it to a ban on publicly funded abortions and billions of dollars in additional cuts.

The Democrats weren't willing to accept that, and the frustration with politicians from both sides of the aisle is growing.

"Some of these military families, there's only one parent working," Brittany said. "And that's their sole paycheck, and now they have nothing. They're supposed to just go and hope that they can make it."


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