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Government shutdown leaves 1,600 DM workers at home without pay

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Government shutdown leaves 1,600 DM workers at home without pay

By Justin Schecker. CREATED Oct 1, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It is day one of the first government shutdown in nearly two decades after neither the Republicans or Democrats in Congress budged during this latest budget battle.

About 800,000 government employees are now staying home without pay and the shutdown could cost the economy about $1 billion a week.      

The 1,600 Davis-Monthan Air Force base civilian workers asked to stay home without pay this morning are among those left wondering how long they will need to make ends meet without a paycheck.  

"To all our DOD civilians-I know the days ahead could mean more uncertainty, including possible furloughs," President Obama said in a video message for the military released early Tuesday morning. "And I know this comes on top of the furloughs that many of you already endured this summer. You and your families deserve better than the dysfunction we're seeing in Congress. Your talents and dedication help keep our military the best in the world."

All of DM's military personnel will continue to perform normal duties and late Monday night before the midnight deadline President Obama signed a bill to make sure military paychecks go out on time during the shutdown.

"I'm going to keep fighting to get rid of those across-the-board budget cuts-the sequester-which are hurting our military and our economy," the president said in his video message. "We need a responsible approach that deals with our fiscal challenges and keeps our military and our economy strong.  And I'm going to make sure you stay the greatest military in the world-bar none. 

1,782 civilian workers at DM will still report for work Tuesday, but along with the 1,604 furloughed workers, they wont be paid until lawmakers in Washington resolve the budget battle. 

DM services that depend on furloughed workers will be changed to reflect a small staff, such as shorter hours at the commissary, dining facilities and the fitness center.   

The last shutdown in 1995-6 lasted 21 days. The government later compensated furloughed employees then, but there's no guarantee that will happen this time around. 

Justin Schecker

Justin Schecker

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Justin Schecker reports for KGUN 9 ON Your Side at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00. He joined KGUN9 in September of 2012 and spent his first year in Tucson covering overnight breaking news for Good Morning Tucson.