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A Government Shutdown is Looming…What Now?


In what is starting to feel like Groundhog day for military families and federal employees, when we once again face a risk that the government will shut down on October 1 if Congress can not approve a budget for 2016 by September 30.

Why does this happen?

Without an approved budget plan, government agencies will not have access to federal funds. This year, at the center of the budget talks is funding to Planned Parenthood. The Republican-led House of Representatives has voted to defund the women’s healthcare provider, which receives over $500 million a year in government funding. Democrats are expected to block this legislation in the Senate. The White House says that if the bill reaches President Obama’s desk, he will veto it. However, at least 28 conservative Republicans vow not to approve any budget that includes funding for Planned Parenthood. And so we reach a budget standstill.

This is not the first time that our country faced a shutdown in recent history. Many military families will recall that the government shut down for 16 days in October 2013, causing outrage that rippled through the nation.

Facing fears from their clients, in late September 2013, many military friendly banks and lenders, like Navy Federal, noted their intention to cover direct deposits for its members, with their CEO Cutler Dawson stating, “Our number one concern is our members and their families. That’s why we’re pledging to cover the direct deposits for our active duty members. By covering their 15 October pay, our active duty members will not see a difference in their direct deposit amount—as if there were no shutdown.”

But the shutdown did not simply affect military paychecks. In 2013, for example, many National Guard employees were placed on unpaid furlough, and numerous drills and missions were scrapped. In an interview with the World-Herald Tuesday, Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac adjutant general of the Nebraska National Guard expressed, “It’s that flux that that brings into the system, the unpredictability of it all, that makes it a little bit more difficult to plan, train and equip.” Maj. Gen Bohac continued, “I think everybody recognizes that a shutdown is harmful in many different ways, not just to the military, just to America’s national interests.”

With just a scarce seven days to reach a resolution, a weary nation waits.

Tell us, what did you do during the government shutdown in 2013? Do you have any plans in place in case we reach a similar shut down next week?

*UPDATE*

FORT WORTH, Texas — First Command Financial Services, Inc. announced today that it will extend direct deposit pay to its military and federal employee clients as part of a comprehensive plan to address potential financial hardships in the event of a government shutdown.

“First Command is committed to doing all we can to ensure that our clients are not financially harmed by government actions or inactions that are beyond their control,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command. “During the previous shutdown in October 2013 we stepped up to help our clients with payroll advances and other financial offerings. As we approach the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30 and the prospect of a government shutdown continues to grow, we again commit to help our clients through another period of uncertainty and ensure their family finances are squared away.”

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