Government shutdown threat puts more than 400 local jobs at risk

More than 400 federal employees in the Dayton region were awaiting word Friday about a partial government shutdown.

A shutdown would likely have little impact on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, however.

A quarter of the federal government could shut down just before Christmas if lawmakers don’t agree on a spending bill. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is not expected to close if President Donald Trump continues his threat to force a partial government shutdown if Congress does not approve spending for a wall along the Mexican border.

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A partial government shutdown could occur at midnight on tonight over the failure of Congress to pass spending bills to fund the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Interior, State, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.

There are approximately 400 civilian employees in the region who work for those unfunded agencies, according to the June 2018 data from the Office of Personnel Management. More than 100 employees work for Homeland Security in Montgomery County, which could be impacted by a partial shutdown.

Jobs that could be impacted are located in Montgomery, Greene, Clark and Darke counties.

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Hundreds of other civilian employees in the region work for the Agriculture, Transportation, Interior, Treasury, Justice departments and the National Archives & Records Administration. The most significant impact would be to the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, which is funded through the Department of the Interior. The Dayton Federal Records would also likely be impacted.

A spokesman for Wright-Patt said the base has not received any instructions about how to implement a shutdown.

“Absent that guidance, we couldn’t begin to guess what would be impacted,” the spokesman told the Dayton Daily News.

Wright-Patt is the largest single-site employer in Ohio with more than 27,000 employees, with both civilian and military workers on base. About 13,000 of those employees are civilians.

Museum spokesman Rob Bardua said there would be no impact to the museum if the current continuing resolution were to expire. If a government shutdown did occur, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will not close.

A spokesman for the Dayton VA Medical Center said the hospital will remain open. “We will continue to offer all services, all of our normal hours, fully staffed, business as usual. This is the same that we did for President Bush’s recent funeral, and same that we’ve done for previous government shutdowns,” the spokesman said.

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On Jan. 20, the government shut down for a weekend due to immigration issues but re-opened on Jan. 23. The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and other local governmental institutions, including Wright-Patt, closed until lawmakers reached a deal to fund operations.

There also was a second brief shutdown on Feb. 9 but lasted only five hours. When the shutdown struck in 2013, both furloughed workers and those who stayed on the job were reimbursed. During that shutdown, much of the federal government was closed for 16 days.

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