Government shutdown potentially impacts Fort Benning civilians

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - While the debate over the country's budget continues on Capitol Hill, many people are wondering about the potential impact in the  Chattahoochee Valley.

The last shutdown was in 2013 during the Obama Administration. Fort Benning certainly experienced a great impact during that time.

Essential staff at top level agencies continued to work but did not see a paycheck until the government was up running again.

All essential services, law enforcement, medical and dental facilities, schools, childcare facilities and emergency services on Fort Benning were open.

Brian Anderson of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce is weighing in on the possible shut down.

"Unfortunately, because Congress and the way it works, none of us know exactly what it would mean to us. They can change at any moment. Typically, the military is exempt from a government shutdown, so it wouldn't affect our permanent and active duty soldiers. But, it would affect our civilians. There are about ten thousand people at Fort Benning, so it could affect them," says Anderson.

Anderson says there would be impacts locally, but the extent of those impacts this time, are not fully known.

"The government shut down could affect those people who need benefits from social security. That's always brought into the conversation. Not helping out senior citizens, W.I.C payments, welfare payments, job training entitlement money, all of those things are technically at risk," says Anderson.

The post office will remain open and continue in delivery services.

Lawmakers have until midnight, Jan. 19 to make a decision.

News Leader 9 did reach out to Fort Benning officials for a statement or comment but did not receive a response.

This is a developing story, stay with News Leader 9 for updates.

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