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MCLB-Albany employees furloughed due to shutdown

MCLB-ALBANY — Hours after the first federal government shutdown in 17 years went into effect, officials at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany were working to hash out the specific details regarding how the shutdown would impact its work force.

On Tuesday afternoon, Capt. Justin Jacobs, public affairs officer with the base, confirmed that the affected workers were receiving furlough notices, which does not include military and certain civilian personnel such as emergency services like fire and police.

The commissary on board the installation is out of operation for the duration of the shutdown as is the base’s weekly publication, “The Emblem,” Jacobs said. The library, base education and school liaison office, transition readiness services, youth and teen center, fishing and hunting license issuing, the distribution management office as well as certain Marine Corps Community Services entities will also be among those closed down.

Primary care and clinical support services, the health benefits office, pass and identification office, industrial hygiene, public works, billeting and barracks, accounting support, occupational medicine and health, public affairs and all risk management services will be among those either with reduced staffing or unaffected by the shutdown, officials at MCLB-Albany said.

On Monday, officials at MCLB said they expected its military and excepted civilian personnel to remain on duty without pay and get compensated retroactively after a compromise is reached and appropriations are made available. All other civilian personnel are expected to remain furloughed while positions considered critical to national security, public health and safety, medical care, power and maintenance, emergency and disaster assistance and other vital areas are not being furloughed.

This follows a round of furloughs earlier this year that impacted 3,000 civilian workers at MCLB, which was initially set for once a week over the course of 11 weeks until it was reduced to six weeks — allowing those employees to resume their normal work schedules by the end of August.

The White House rejected a Republican plan Tuesday to reopen portions of the nation’s government as the shutdown closed landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and threw hundreds of thousands of federal employees out of work. The quick dismissal offered no sign that President Barack Obama and Republicans could soon end a standoff over health care that has sidelined everything from trade negotiations to medical research and raised new concerns about Congress’s ability to perform its most basic duties. An even bigger battle looms in coming weeks, when Congress must raise the debt limit or risk a U.S. default that could roil global markets.

Spending authority for much of the government expired at midnight on Monday, but that did not prevent Tuesday’s unveiling of the health insurance exchanges that form the centerpiece of the law.

The last shutdown in 1995 and 1996 cost taxpayers $1.4 billion, according to congressional researchers.

Reuters News Service contributed to this report