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Federal agencies in Oklahoma prepare for shutdown

Several federal agencies employ Oklahomans, including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Tinker Air Force Base.
by Graham Lee Brewer Published: October 1, 2013

A statement on the website of the federal court in Tulsa states the federal judiciary will remain open for about 10 business days and will reassess its situation and provide further guidance around Oct. 15. All proceedings and deadlines will remain in effect as scheduled, unless otherwise advised, and the electronic filing of documents with courts will function as normal.

Alex Weintz, spokesman for Gov. Mary Fallin, said regardless of a federal shutdown, the state government will operate as usual, although the Oklahoma National Guard may face furloughs.

Weintz said if the shutdown occurs and is not resolved soon it could “result in a more widespread reduction of government services at the state level,” as well as create economic uncertainty and affect job growth.

Employees at several federal agencies located in Oklahoma, including the FAA and HUD, declined to comment on how the shutdown may affect them.

Schmidt said he and the employees he represents feel like bargaining chips for an argument that shouldn't be taking place.

“It's like we're being used as political pawns, pretty much,” Schmidt said. “And, no matter how you feel about the Affordable Care Act, it's been put into law, they voted on it, they've tried to repeal it 40 times.

“I think if you want to get rid of it, how the democratic process works ... you go out, you campaign, and you get the majority to reverse the law. That's how it's always worked in our country.”