Goodfellow AFB Braces for a Government Shutdown
Goodfellow AFB on the east side of San Angelo will be affected if the U.S. Government shuts down Oct. 1. Whether the government funds remain for Goodfellow operations hinges, for the most part, upon the actions taken by the U.S. House of Representatives this weekend.
“Most civil service employees will be furloughed, with some exceptions, “ Staff Sgt. Laura McFarlane, spokesman for the 17th TRW Public Affairs said.
“Specifically, the subject furlough would impact 442 of the 587 Air Force appropriated fund civil service employees; however, it would not impact the 280 Air Force non-appropriated fund civilian employees that work here,” she said.
Non-appropriated employees hold jobs at base support organizations like AAFES’s base exchange and the commissary. Appropriated personnel, meaning the money for their salaries is appropriated by congress, hold jobs more directly attached to Goodfellow’s training missions.
In the event of a government shutdown, McFarlane said that those in uniform will report to duty. “Work will go on at Goodfellow,” McFarlane said.
Congressman Mike Conaway (R-Midland) in whose congressional district Goodfellow AFB is located was not available today for comment. His spokesman referred us to an earlier statement the congressman made concerning the Republican fight to defund Obamacare. Conaway, along with 24 Texas Republican congressmen, wrote their U.S. Senate colleagues on Sept. 20 urging them them to vote for the house bill that defunds Obamacare as a trade-off with Democrats to allow government spending after Sept 30, the end of the fiscal year. http://gohmert.house.gov/uploadedfiles/open_letter_to_senate.pdf
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) spoke on the Senate floor for over 21 hours continuously to advocate the same strategy earlier this week.
At issue was a 230-189 vote in the House to pass a continuing resolution that would fully fund the government through Dec. 15 while defunding Obamacare. The Democratic Party-controlled Senate stripped the Obamacare defunding provision and sent it back to the House Friday. The House is expected to take up the measure this weekend.
Republicans who are the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives have two levers of control to convince President Obama and the Democrats, who control the U.S. Senate and the presidency, to negotiate to defund or delay the implementation of the health plan law that is unpopular with Republicans: The end of the fiscal year continuing resolution on Oct. 1, and the need to increase the U.S. Government’s debt ceiling. Experts report that the debt ceiling will require a raise sometime in mid-October.
The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that investors are hedging that the government will shutdown. “Judging from the sixfold increase in the past week—to its highest level since 2011—of the annual cost of derivatives some investors use to hedge against the risk the U.S. will default on its debt,” Janet Hook reported. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303342104579099151237112452.html?mod=rss_US_News&wpisrc=nl_wonk
President Obama and the Senate Democrats are dug in and not budging. Republicans are split between those who stand with Senator Cruz, appearing to be as inflexible as the President and the Senate, or the moderates who want to avoid a government shutdown.
President Obama, who is demanding that congress send a continuing resolution to his desk for signature without compromise, said that military pay is threatened.
Goodfellow AFB reported in Oct. 2012 that it has a combined payroll of 7,320 uniformed military personnel, civilians, and contractors that costs the government $383.78 million annually. That means Goodfellow’s immediate impact on the Concho Valley’s economy, and the total immediate economic impact of a prolonged government shutdown, is Goodfellow’s $32 million monthly payroll, or $1.03 million per day.
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