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www.wmfd.com - Congress passed a measure to pay members of the armed forces during the partial government shutdown, buut that doesn't include everyone who works for the military. }}" />

Nonessential Government Personnel React To Being Furloughed

Story By: Larry Stine



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  Original Published: 10/2/2013 Congress passed a measure to pay members of the armed forces during the partial government shutdown. But that doesn't include everyone who works for the military. Andrew Spencer reports non-essential personnel from all areas of government are hoping they can get back to work soon. Just who is essential anyway? "I came here to work, today, and I'm not allowed to. I'm not essential. None of us are." Neither is Brian Diesch, a medical engineer at Madigan Army Hospital. He's among 16,000 civilians furloughed at joint base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. "Regardless of what the Army tells me, I've still got to put food on the table," says Diesch. "I still gotta pay my bills." Clinical trials that typically include dozens of cancer patients each week could be postponed under the shutdown. The National Institutes of Health says six new clinical trials that would have started this week have already been put on hold, as three-quarters of its employees are put on furlough. In Washington, government employees worried for their co-workers. "One just bought a house," says Susan Lake, a furloughed federal worker. "She's wondering how she'll make the mortgage payment." The barricade around the World War II Memorial was moved Tuesday, so a group of veterans could see the site. Park officials said groups like this come every day, and they don't know what will happen in the future. If the shutdown stretches into late October, pension and disability checks could be frozen for some 3.3-million vets. Meanwhile, the budget impasse stretches on, the House failing three times, Tuesday, to pass piecemeal funding for government programs.
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