HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) - The looming threat of a government shutdown continues and it concerns many western Massachusetts residents.
“I think it's a terrible thing. It shows that congress doesn't have a litmus test or IQ to pull things together,” said Isaac Seigel of Amherst.
The shutdown would lead to the closing of hundreds of government agencies and people who rely on federal services will be left out in the dark. Congressman Edward Markey warned this week that a shutdown means 25,000 military members and their families could have their pay delayed. Many of them are the people Eric Segundo serves.
“They are right now in harms way in Afghanistan. Other than protecting themselves and their battle buddies in danger; they have to worry about how their wife is going to pay the mortgage if that check doesn't come in on the first,” said Segundo, the District Commander of the Hampden County Veterans of Foreign War.
Segundo is a veteran of the Iraq war and served four years overseas. The V.F.W organization he heads serves over 1,000 military members.
“The consequences to the veterans, their benefits, the active duty military, we are the middle class. We live check to check,” said Segundo at the Holyoke’s Soldier’s Home on Sunday.
On Saturday night, the Republican-led House agreed to pass a budget and avert the shutdown.
"Tonight the Republican majority will vote to shut the government down!,” shouted Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas; during Saturday night’s vote.
But the House bill would delay the Affordable Care Act for a year. It’s an option President Obama says he will not support.
“No I don't receive any benefits but my father who is elderly receives social security benefits. He's on a fixed income; he's on a fixed rate, fixed rent. So it affects him. His money goes towards his food, his rent, his health care costs, and prescriptions,” said Jeffrey Kimball of East Longmeadow.
Congress has until Midnight Monday, the end of the fiscal year, to reach a deal and pass a budget.