Washington gridlock affects local nonprofits

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, April 1, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Washington gridlock is slowing things down miles away in Augusta. Congress has yet to pass a budget, and several nonprofits in Augusta depend on that money.

Housing and Urban Development announced its funding is on hold until Congress passes a budget.

"It's another hurdle. We just take them one day at a time," said MACH Academy Executive Director Betty Jones.

Commissioners who were once against giving MACH Academy $25,000 are now considering it and will vote at Tuesday night's commission meeting.

Funding is still a problem.

"Funding is being cut for a lot of organizations. People in Washington have no clue as to what is going on on the local level," Jones said.

"Until Congress passes a budget, everything is on hold," said HUD Executive Director Chester Wheeler.

Wheeler is talking about millions of dollars for nonprofits that have yet to be given out to places like the Salvation Army, Golden Harvest and MACH Academy all because of budget battles in Washington.

"It's put in your account and your write checks on it. Because they haven't approved the budget, nothing is in the account," Wheeler said. "Nobody at this point has been advised as to how much our annual allocations for our federal programs will be."

"We are always chasing those dollars trying to stay ahead," Jones said.

National leaders continue to spar over political ideologies while programs that help locals will continue to feel even more of the economic squeeze.

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