News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, April 7, 2011
Amanda Morris and her daughter stop to smell the roses. An American flag flaps in the wind above them outside of a home just across the road from Fort Gordon.
"If it's gonna affect the military, it's actually gonna affect everybody else as well," said Morris.
She's talking about a federal government shutdown. For her husband, an Army Captain, federal furloughs would keep their bank accounts from growing too.
"If it's prolonged, we have to cut back our spending budget, eat out less, buy less things, live at home."
But they've saved enough for a short-term shutdown and say they trust Congress to reach an agreement on the federal budget.
Retired Sergeant Major Mack Johnson also has enough for a short time, even though he'll be held up from getting more than $4,000 in retirement and other benefits.
15,000 active duty soldiers at Fort Gordon could also be cut off. 400 Department of Energy employees at Savannah River Site face the same thing.
Thousands of federal workers in our area would become eligible for state unemployment benefits.
"If that means opening up more rooms, bringing in additional staff, we'll do whatever it takes to process those additional claims and process them quickly," says James Abron of the Augusta Career Center.
But soldiers living paycheck to paycheck could still be hurting.
"I've seen how it affects a soldier in all walks of life, when they don't get but a little pay and more so when they don't get any pay at all," Johnson adds.
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