POLITICS

Govt shutdown: A look back at how it would hurt military families

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President Obama took a prominent role Tuesday in the push to hammer out a deal to avoid a looming government shutdown.

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Govt shutdown could hit military families

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The President blasted both parties, calling on all sides to stop partisan politics as Republicans and Democrats haggle over tens of billions of dollars in cuts.

If a shutdown occurs, all non-essential government employees will be placed on furlough and will not get paid.

That may also include members of the military. One of them is the husband of Rebecca Cleary, a freelance journalist and mother of four. Her husband David has served in the Navy for 19 years. Roughly 85 percent of the family's income comes from the military.

"We have a small emergency fund, but if we have to go without (the military pay), that would be used up," Cleary said.

"We've always said with all the sacrifices we've made, at least we have a steady paycheck," the Crownsville resident added. "You know that's the one thing we put in the 'pro' section for being a military family...and to take that away...it's scary. It's very scary."

The Department of Defense has yet to decide whether or how it will pay troops should Democrats and Republicans in Congress fail to reach a consensus.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed hope. "Americans expect us to work together when a problem becomes so pressing across party lines that cooperation is needed. Now is such a moment," he said.

Republicans offered the President a one-week extension of the deadline, but only if he agreed to $12 billion in immediate spending cuts. President Barack Obama said he would not accept one short-term deal after another.

"That's not the basis for shutting down the government. We should be able to come up with a compromise," Obama said.

Meanwhile, the Clearys maintained faith in their country.

"They're gonna take care of us," said David Cleary. "And everyone's concerned about it, from our commands to big Navy (leaders), to DOD, and they'll take care of us. It'll work out."

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