How the government shutdown affected Yuma

How the shutdown affected Yuma

YUMA, Ariz. - Federal government services in Yuma were affected over the weekend due to the three-day government shutdown.


Congress failed to reach an agreement over the weekend, as both sides pointed blame and prompted furloughs across the nation.


With a stalemate in Washington over the weekend, many federal and military employees in the Desert Southwest were left to face uncertainty about their jobs and pay.


With the short-term agreement expected to pass on all levels, it'll end the government shutdown. 


MCAS Yuma Communication Director, Gabe Adibe, released a statement today on the government shutdown.


"MCAS Yuma is operational and will continue to execute daily operations... some facilities on the air station will be closed and some activities will cease to function until the government shutdown concludes," Adibe said.


MCAS Yuma said that approximately 6,000 marines, sailors, and civilians live on base, but less than 300 of those were furloughed.


The U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground tells us they were told to report to work Monday morning for several hours to secure the equipment down range. This includes 2,400 employees. Many were uncertain about their future and their pay. Chuck Wullenjohn said that shutting down YPG takes some time and involves many people.


“So we just can’t turn on, turn off at the blink of an eyelash. It takes awhile to do it. So when we come back to work, we’ll start getting organized again and then we’ll conduct operations as soon as we can," Wullenjohn added.


As for their pay, Wullenjohn said the decision is up to Congress, which is working on a deal to reopen the government.


“People got paid for the last two weeks, in fact, we just finished a pay period. But, right now it’s kind of up to Congress,” Wullenjohn added.


Wullenjohn said that if a different decision were to come from Congress, no employees would show up to YPG starting Tuesday.


Yuma Sector Border Patrol also made a statement over the weekend on the government shutdown. Justin Kallinger, Public Information Officer, said that agents will continue to serve the country.


"The dedicated men and women of DHS are fully prepared to protect the homeland and keep Americans safe should a lapse in government funding occur... We urge Congress to fully fund DHS in order to pay the federal employees on the front lines defending our nation," Kallinger added. 


We also reached out to the Naval Air Facility El Centro and were directed to this voicemail:


"Due to a lapse in federal funding, employees have been furloughed. I will not be able to monitor or respond to voice messages until the furlough has ended."  


However, with a compromise on a short-term fix in Washington, employees at MCAS Yuma, Border Patrol, and YPG will return to work on Tuesday. 


The agreement finances the government through February 8th, with 17 days left until the next standoff. If there isn't funding appropriated by then, another shutdown will ensue.


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