Posted: 7:37 p.m. MST
In a rare bipartisan display, the house unanimously agreed this weekend to pay furloughed government workers. That's great news for Yuma.
A few dozen cars in the parking lot Monday was a sight of relief for people at the United States Army Yuma proving Ground.
"The act passed by congress, signed by president Obama, [authorized] the military to be paid,” said Chuck Wullenjohn, public affairs officer for YPG. “[It] also said that we can bring back a lot of civilians who directly support military … Today there are about 500 people who are here who were not here last week."
But that’s only about one-fifth of YPG's employees. Still, the sign of hope is boosting morale.
"People in general are happy about returning to work,” said Wullenjohn. "They're here partly because they are strong believers in a strong national defense. When we're at home, we're not able to do that."
Engineers and other workers test a number of weapons and tools the military uses at the battle front, but they're still not to 100 percent.
"Testing operations at YPG are just gradually starting up right now, because there are many different pots of money and authorities involved,” explained Wullenjohn. “We were at a 100-percent stop. Now we’re in the process of starting up again."
Meantime they are cautiously optimistic, keeping in mind the government is nearing yet another debt obstacle: Reaching its borrowing limit next week.
"It’s hard for me to predict the future at all. We don't know what the congress the senate and the president are going to do,” said Wullenjohn. "Things are still a little confusing for us out there."