by Mindy Aguon
Guam - For the first time in nearly 18 years, the federal government has begun shutting down as the Senate continues debating a spending bill that would keep the government in operation. The Senate has removed House amendments from the spending bill and efforts are underway as the new fiscal year began in the states to try to iron out the differences.
President Barack Obama delivered a message to members of the military assuring them that they would get what they needed to carry out their missions and he will sign legislation that will ensure they get their paychecks. To Department of Defense civilians, President Obama said, "You and your families deserve better than the dysfunction we're seeing in Congress." He said, "Your talents and dedication help keep our military the best in the world. That's why I'll keep working to get congress to reopen our government and get you back to work as soon as possible. "
Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo says she regrets that partisan politics have led to this "unnecessary shutdown". She noted, "Today, House Republicans chose to shut down the federal government by refusing to offer a Continuing Resolution capable of passing both the House and the Senate and being signed by the President. President Obama and my Democratic colleagues have agreed to Republican funding levels included in the CR being offered, yet House Republicans remain unwilling to compromise; instead, they are using what should be a simple, common-sense vote on a spending bill to fund all operations of the federal government as a last-ditch effort to attach unrelated issues. I am concerned about federal employees and contractors who may be furloughed and who will not be able to receive the same retroactive pay that was offered to those were furloughed during the government shutdown in 1996. I share the frustration of millions of Americans across our country, including many of you from Guam whom I have heard from over the weekend and over the past few weeks."
The Congresswoman's Office provided a brief overview of the shutdown's impact on federal services: