CREATED Oct. 7, 2013
Omaha, NE - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has recalled essential civilian employees. STRATCOM employees are back at work, but they aren't getting paid. Secretary Hagel made the decision over the weekend after the house voted to pay all furloughed employees when the shutdown ends.
Some two thousand Offutt employees had been at home since last Tuesday. While they're getting back to work one congressman is working on repairing his image.
Congressman Lee Terry has now apologized for comments he made about taking pay during the shutdown even while hundreds of thousands of government employees continue to not get paid.
Last week congressman Terry stated he has, "A nice house and a kid in college and cannot handle it." Since then Terry apologized. "I made a comment last week that I regret and I'm sorry cause frankly it wasn't my character to say, hey I'm going to get something before you."
Democratic party director Jim Rogers said Terry's only sorry he got caught. In a written statement, he called Terry's apology "fake" and said keeping his paycheck is Washington values, not Nebraska's.
Terry has since announced he will not receive a paycheck until furloughed employees get theirs. "For me, I think it was important to stand with my employees and the others that have been furloughed."
City councilman Pete Festersen said Terry's comments have his office flooded with phone calls. "They're concerned of course about the recent statements but more importantly about I think just the government shut down itself and how ridiculous that has been over the last couple of weeks and how it's been handled."
In the summer, Festersen announced he would not run against congressman Terry in the midterm elections. Residents are asking Festersen to reconsider, but he tells Action 3 News, he has not made a decision.