Federal employees in Rochester going home without getting paid - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Federal employees in Rochester going home without getting paid

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Minnesota Army National Guard Training and Community Center, Rochester Minnesota Army National Guard Training and Community Center, Rochester
Federal Medical Center, Rochester Federal Medical Center, Rochester

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The partial government shutdown will send more than 800,000 federal workers home without pay including ones in Rochester. Workers reported to their agencies Tuesday to prepare for the shutdown.

In Rochester, Federal Medical Center is one of the federally-funded facilities that's affected.  Like government facilities across the country, FMC is operating on limited resources during this time.

FMC houses inmates that need special medical attention.  An FMC employee tells KTTC he is worried about the shutdown, and he and his co-workers can't simply be told to not go to work since their jobs deal with human lives.

FMC is only one of many places in Rochester where government workers are struggling to find answers.  The National Guard Training and Community Center on Marion Road Southeast is also closed.

According to the Minnesota National Guard, anywhere from 4 to 20 military personnel work at this facility.  But more than 1,200 military technicians across State's entire National Guard are furloughed until further notice.

Though government operations are at a standstill, air traffic controllers and TSA security screeners at MSP International and Rochester International airports were still at work Tuesday. But the workers may not get paid until after the shutdown ends.

There's indication from leaders in both parties that the government shutdown could last for weeks. President Obama said Republicans brought about the shutdown as part of an "ideological crusade" to wipe out his health care law. House Speaker John Boehner, writing in USA Today, says Democrats "slammed the door on reopening the government" by refusing to negotiate.

"The position that's being taken by the House of Representatives to delay Obamacare for a year is a political scheme to make it an issue for next year's cycle of elections," said Chris Libbey, who was visiting Rochester from Wisconsin.

"I don't want Obamacare and I don't think the country wants Obamacare and I'm glad that there's someone that's strong enough to stop them," said Lyle Delwiche, a former Minnesotan visiting Rochester from Florida.

Others are concerned about the shutdown's impact on our country's image.

"We have two viable parties and no strong enough leadership to guide us in the right direction that would enable us to carry on our affairs to be a benefit to ourselves and other people in the world," said Hilda Reingold, who was visiting Rochester from Illinois.

And while Congress tries to come to an agreement, the country's youngest minds are waiting to see how the decisions made today will affect their careers tomorrow.

"Going into the medical field, we want to know what's going to happen with insurance, what's going to happen with healthcare in general, I guess so that when we do become professionals in this area how its going to affect our income," said Hannah Takch, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota Rochester.

The locks and dams on the Mississippi River, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will remain open because commercial river traffic and flood control are considered core functions.

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