Homeland Security workers fear shutdown


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Concern continues to mount across the nation as a Homeland Security shutdown seems more and more likely as we get closer to a Friday deadline.

Lawmakers are at odds over President Barak Obama's immigration policies and House Speaker John Boehner says he's prepared to let financing for the agency lapse if the senate is unable to pass a spending bill on the issue.

If the agency shuts down, 15 percent of the nation's employees would be furloughed, affecting the jobs of Transportation Safety Administration officers at airports, border patrol agents and members of the Coast Guard.

St. Augustine's Navy League President Bill Dudley fears that when terrorists are promising future attacks on America, the thought of cutting funding to the Homeland Security department is baffling.

According to Dudley, "When you look at our port today and the ships coming in, unless you have a strong homeland security, knowing what's on our ships here, it's a major threat."

Dudley also says a cut to funding could cripple military recruitment and morale.
Though roughly 15 percent of government employees would be furloughed, the remaining essential employees would be required to keep working without receiving a paycheck.

Tamara Delaporte, mother of a local Coast Guardsmen, says the whole idea is unfair. "Don't hold up my son's paycheck to make political gain one way or the other, Democrats or Republicans. These are our sons and daughters, why would you do that?"

"It's incomprehensible that the leaders of our nation would even think for 5 minutes of not paying for their salary," says Delaporte, who thinks the men and women who are sacrificing their lives for this country don't deserve the treatment they may get.

People in the St. Augustine area say they have a message for lawmakers in Congress.

"The message is get your act together, that's what we elected you for, pay you for, that's what you're in Washington to do, get your act together, and don't leave or recess until this is resolved," demands Dudley.

Employees of the Federal Emergency Management Agency could also be furloughed in the event of a shutdown.

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