Government shut down includes Stennis Space Center
By Cassandra Favre
Oct 1, 2013, 19:36
Stennis Space Center has shut down and local federal employees will endure a furlough with no end in sight.
Hancock County is home to NASA's Stennis, a virtual federal city, which employs dozens of Hancock and Harrison County residents in both military and civil capacities.
Department of Defense civilian employees at the site say they are frustrated and disappointed by the government shut down.
"It's inconsiderate and ineffective," One employee said. "It's childish and we expect more from our elected leaders.
"On a personal level, as someone who is furloughed and directly impacted, it's a mix of emotions. Not only does it put me in a financial hardship, because I'm a single woman who has now lost my only household income, but it's disheartening."
"I'm very proud to be a Department of Defense civilian employee, and blessed to be able to support our nation and those who are fighting for it," she said.
"When the government tells me that I can no longer assist those active duty military members out front, it's disconcerting."
Another employee also speaking on condition of anonymity said, "Furlough is terrible. We don't deserve it. Thank God the military will get paid. I no longer feel that my best needs are represented anymore."
"It's unfair to the workers that make a fraction of what congressmen make," said one Naval civilian employee, "and they are still getting paid.
"I've been with the government for 33 years and was furloughed 17 years ago for 21 days and I expect to be out another 21 days."
The House and Senate in Washington D.C. were unable to reach a deal on spending before adjourning Monday which caused the first government shutdown in 17 years.
All non-essential government services were suspended and one-third of federal workers were furloughed.
Federally-funded museums, national parks, government-run national monuments and NASA-except for mission control-will shut down.
Air-traffic controllers and border patrol agents will be working under government IOU's, meaning they won't get paid until the government re-opens.
Military pay will not be suspended, thanks to a bill approving funding for military pay during shutdown, which passed unanimously.
Essential services include mail delivery and issuing Social Security checks.
Medicare coverage and food stamps won't be impacted.
WIC will remain open until it runs out of funding.
Republicans and Democrats are involved in a battle concerning the Affordable Care Act, commonly called "ObamaCare."
Registration for Obamacare began on Tuesday.
Republicans want a one-year delay in implementing the program and the Senate will not pass it.
For more information about the government shut down and what entities are affected visit usa.gov.