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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Many Tinker employees still on job despite partial government shutdown

  • Despite the government shutdown Tuesday, several Shawnee area residents who work at Tinker Air Force Base remained on the job and said they hope to be on the job until there's a budget resolution.
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  • Despite the government shutdown Tuesday, several Shawnee area residents who work at Tinker Air Force Base remained on the job and said they hope to be on the job until there's a budget resolution.
    Larry, who works in one of the many maintenance areas, worked a normal shift Tuesday.
    "We are going to continue to work as long as there is funding," he said.
    Reports from the Associated Press indicated Tuesday that about 2,900 of the 14,000 civilian employees at Tinker were being furloughed until federal funding resumed.
    Larry, who said his work area is just coming out of a series of Friday furloughs, said he was relieved his area was still able to work.
    As far as the overall picture, "hopefully the government will get things worked out," he said.
    Another Shawnee resident who works at Tinker also worked Tuesday, although he said the staff in his department wasn't given a clear-cut answer as to what may happen.
    For now, he feels secure there will be funding to work through Friday and he plans to work every day this week. But if the shutdown continues, he said he could be sent home on Monday.
    "I'm more concerned than positive about it," he said about the shutdown, especially when there's also the future debt ceiling debate to consider.
    But another Pottawatomie County area resident who works at Tinker said while he couldn't comment about working there, he feels everything will work out with the government funding by Friday.
    "I'm not faintly even worried," he said.
    The shutdown also reportedly affected nearly 700 federal technicians at the Oklahoma National Guard, according to Tinker officials, and the Prediction Center based in Norman reported its Facebook page would not be updated as often for the public, though the center is still operational.
    The government shutdown is the result of a divided Congress in a deadlock over President Barack Obama's health care law, with the deadlock stalling a temporary funding bill.
    Some reports have indicated the shutdown will affect federally insured loans.
    Tony McMurry, who is the executive vice president at Shawnee's Arvest Bank, said the shutdown could involve a bit of delay for loans insured through the Small Business Administration and FHA — Federal Housing Administration.
    As far as FHA home loans, those are a small part — less than 5 percent — of the mortgages they work with at Arvest, he said, and mostly affect first-time homebuyers.
    With the shutdown, those in the process of an FHA home loan or SBA loan might be delayed a few days, he said.
    If anything, McMurry said he expects the shutdown won't last long.
    "Many are concerned about the duration," he said, although he believes "cooler heads will prevail" and a decision on a spending bill will be resolved
    Page 2 of 2 - "I don't think anybody should be in a panic mode," McMurry said.
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    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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