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Thousands in SA Area Idled by Government Shutdown

Thousands in SA Area Idled by Government Shutdown

  The lives of tens of thousands of San Antonio area federal workers was upended at midnight, when congress was unable to reach an agreement to keep the federal government operating into the new fiscal year, 1200 WOAI news reports.

 

  My far the largest contingent of U.S. government workers in this area are civilian in the Department of Defense, and Brent Boller, a spokesman for Joint Base San Antonio, says most of them are officially on furlough, but that doesn't mean they can sleep in this morning.

 

  "They'll report for duty, but the majority of them will be reporting to sign furlough letters," Boller said.  "They will then secure their work areas, and then go home until further notice."

 

  Boller says all active duty, uniformed military personnel will report for duty and will actually stay on the job today, and some civilians will also continue to be paid.  Essentially, anybody who is involved in 'direct health and safety' of the military.

 

  For example, Boller says military dining halls, which are staffed by civilian DoD employees and contractors, will be open.  The commissaries, however, are anther matter.

 

  "Commissaries will be open on Tuesday only," he said.  "After Tuesday, they will be closed until Congress approves a continuing resolution or an appropriations bill."

 

  Boller ticks off the types of DoD employees who are furloughed effective today.

 

  "Supply, transportation, legal services, logistics, and myriad other activities," he said.

 

  The Border Patrol is in the same situation.  Shawn Moran, a spokesman for the Border Patrol Association, which represents agents, says uniformed personnel, and all of their support staff will remain on the job.

 

  "I don't think it will make a huge difference," he said.  "It will impact us somewhat, but not as much as we had feared."

 

  At the Veterans Administration, spokeswoman Jessica Jacobsen says hospitals and other operations are operating as usual today.

 

  "This means that the majority of employees there will continue to provide the services," she said.

 

  One area in San Antonio which will see the impact of the shutdown will be at the Missions National Park.

 

  That's because all National Parks employees, except for security personnel, will be standing down today.

 

  "The churches will be open for church business, but all other activities, including the visitors centers, will be closed," said Al Remley, a spokesman for the Missions National Historic Park.

 

  The major operations of the federal government, the ones that most people rely on, will be unaffected.  The U.S. Mail will be delivered, and social security and military retirement checks will continue to be paid to beneficiaries.

 

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