With House Republicans deciding late Monday that they would not attempt to pass any more bills to fund the government, the first shutdown of federal agencies since 1996 kicked in early Tuesday.
And with the federal government shut down, some members of the Wisconsin National Guard are facing furloughs. “We’ve identified 1,050 federal technicians that will be affected, and of those, approximately 210 will be kept on to perform essential operations,” said Major Paul Rickert, public affairs officer for the Wisconsin National Guard.
Most of those technicians are at Air National Guard bases in Milwaukee and Madison, and at Volk Field. There are also active Guard and Reserve personnel who are being impacted. “They are being treated the same as military active duty service members,” said Rickert. “They will still be working, however they won’t be paid. They’ll be paid retroactively, whenever the funding gets turned back on.”
Just when that may be remains unclear. A House-Senate conference is expected to tackle the differences in the two chambers’ proposals, but that could take many days and leave hundreds of thousands of federal employees furloughed across the country.
“We are maintaining minimum personnel in all areas, to ensure that we’re meeting our obligation from a safety and protection standpoint, and any obligations that we have to our federal mission,” said Rickert. “We are ready and able to respond to emergencies if the governor calls us.”