Government Shutdown May Affect Military Pay

Updated:

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla.,None - Military families are wondering if they are going to see a paycheck if the federal government is shut down. Congress has until this weekend to reach a compromise on last year's budget or pass another extension.

The possible shutdown could directly impact the airmen at Patrick Air Force Base and their families. There are 9,000 people working for the 45th Space Wing at various installations.

About 100 people from the Space Wing are currently deployed overseas. The question they and their families are asking is, will they get paid the same if there is a government shutdown?

The Defense Department has said a government shutdown could affect how and when airmen get paid. Secretary Robert Gates told soldiers on Thursday that they will get paid, but how it happens all depends on whether Congress gets beyond a budget impasse.

The military will continue to operate even through a government shutdown, but Secretary Gates has said he worries about how it is going to impact military families.

A government shutdown could also affect some of the work at the Kennedy Space Center. NASA's administrator said if it's not worked out, a shutdown might prevent the space agency from announcing where all the space shuttles are set to go after they are retired.

The pinch could be felt in other ways.

National parks, such as the Ocala National Forest will be closed. FHA loans will be disrupted and won't be approved right away. Taxpayers filing paper returns won't get their refunds immediately.

Medical services for veterans will continue. Social security checks will still go in the mail, and the mail will still be delivered. Air traffic control towers and security screeners will still work and the weather service will still issue warnings.

That announcement was supposed to happen next Tuesday.