CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The continuing federal government shutdown is having a great impact on the West Virginia National Guard.

Major General James Hoyer, adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard, had to send over a thousand full-time National Guard employees home Tuesday after the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives failed to reach a budget deal to avoid a government shutdown.

“We would have been, starting the fiscal year October 1, at 2,339 full-time employees,” he said Tuesday during a press conference. “I had to send 1,150 of those employees home.”

On top of sending almost half of their employees home without pay, the National Guard is also forced to cut back on training.

“We’re not going to be doing normal training. We won’t have the ability to do our, what we call our IDT individual training that may occur during the weekends or during the week,” said Hoyer. “We are not going to be able to do our annual training which tends to be collective training where the units come together and train.”

However, before Monday’s midnight deadline lawmakers in Washington did manage to pass legislation that was suppose to allow for the military to be funded through a shutdown. But Hoyer said that is not the case with the National Guard.

“The way H.R. 3210 is being interpreted right now on the guidance we’re being given at this point it is not taking care of the National Guard in West Virginia or across the country,” he said.

That is mostly because the National Guard has five different categories of pay and the bill doesn’t include all of them, according to Hoyer.

And more furloughs could be in the near future depending on how long the shutdown lasts. There are 389 military authority employees in the state who receive some level of federal reimbursement and if the shutdown lasts for more than seven days, there jobs will be in jeopardy as well.

Hoyer said those positions, which include 30 firefighters at the 130th Airlift Wing in Charleston and 35 firefighters in Martinsburg, are viewed as being more vital for daily operations and for that reason state money is going to be used to pay those salaries for the moment. The hope is the state will be reimbursed after Congress resolves the budget issues and the government shutdown is over.

The 30 firefighters in Charleston provide fire and rescue services for Yeager Airport and Hoyer said if the shutdown lasts longer than seven days, there could be more serious consequences.

“In order to keep them on right now we’re having to take state dollars and float their salary in order to continue to keep them on status because that not only impacts the 167th Airlift Wing, it would shut down Yeager Airport,” he said.

The state would spend $227,000 to float the salaries of the military authority employees for seven days. Hoyer said they can only afford to float the salaries for so long.

Hoyer hopes lawmakers will be able to agree on a funding bill this week so they won’t have to make further tough decisions. He said the fact that he can’t do anything to prevent his National Guard members from being sent home is eating him up inside.

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Comments

  • New West Virginian

    if you ask me maybe Obozo didn't even hate Osama that much. Maybe he just threw Osama under the bus for his own political gain, but deep inside, Obozo is deep in jihad look at who he supports in Syria and his deafening silence after the Islamic terrorist attack in his native Kenya.

  • New West Virginian

    It is disgusting that Obozo, Reid, and Piglosi will not even fund the National Guard. Well the parts of the government the Republicans "like" are actually the important parts like our military, National Guard, Border Patrol, FBI, DEA, National Park Service, etc etc. The liberals and Democrats like the EPA (which is an enemy of West Virginian coal miners and natural gas drillers), the IRS, Amtrak, and nonsense regulatory agencies, and those that serve illegal immigrants.

  • Mike

    Tea-party drinkers couldn't stop the Affordable Health Care plan from becoming law in 2010; couldn't stop the Supreme Court from ruling it constitutional; and couldn't stop Obama's re-election. So let's all cry-baby together, throw a temper-tantrum, and shut down the government until we get our way. And deny 170,000 poor West Virginians from having access to quality health care. It doesn't get any nastier than that. Maybe our President should cry and threaten to shut down the government unless he gets a mandatory background check on all gun purchases. Same tactic.

    • will

      Did you hear Obama today he is the one that sounds like a cry baby, when he can not get his way!

  • WV Citizen

    The Dems will not work with the Reps to come to a solution, it's no no no. Do not blame the reps 100% here. If the Dems wanted it to end they would think beyond no and give a little.

    • Michael

      The bill became law. The bill became law. The bill became law.

      Do you understand? It is done. Stop whining about it and pay the bills.

      • realitycheck

        so, if a really bad bill becomes law then the opposing party should just give up? I'm sure that's exactly how you felt when there were laws that you didn't agree with that were passed by Republican congresses & signed by Republican presidents. Republicans took the House back in 2010 b/c a whole lot of people were pissed about this law. Their constituents wants them to do something about it. The federal government has shut down 17 times since 1976 - this is hardly a novel concept.

  • blugldmn

    The air guard was not meant to be used as an economic development tool but it has been and that is why it is in the position it finds itself.

  • blugldmn

    Yeah.... I pay taxes to and was a former member of the 130th.

    Name the last terrorist attack in WV

    I have no issue with those who serve I commend them.

    The point is the mission does not justify the cost or the fact that we have 2 guard units the USAF does not want or need.

    Eventually the cost of these bases will close them as they are not cost effective.

  • Thank you

    Thank you MG Hoyer for looking out for us. Through all my years here, you have always done what you could to bring and keep jobs in WV. I felt better after reading this article, getting confirmation that you and your staff are doing what you can in this difficult situation. We have faith in you to ease this burden on the National Guard service members affected by the situation in Washington.

    • realitycheck

      yes, because it should be the military's role to ensure that states like WV have people employed.

  • blugldmn

    Just take some lottery money and take care of it...

    Either the 130th or the 167th needs disbanded anyway.

    If the USAF had its way neither base would be in operation anyhow but state politicians interfered in the decisions to close them and now we are stuck funding that which is not critical.

    • realitycheck

      you mean that the military shouldn't keep open bases that they don't need or want? that's just crazy talk.

  • blugldmn

    Hit the unemployment line like the rest of America has to do. Why the hell do you people feel you should be treated differently than the rest of the people who work to pay the taxes that support you everyday when they lose their jobs!

    You act like the world is ending when you know damn well that all that can be made just like in the past when a budget deal is reached.

    • Really?

      Actually, I pay taxes also. Additionally, my job is training and evaluating National Guard disaster response units across the Country. The people who may be called upon to save your life Sir. Perhaps you should consider this before you fire off such an ignorant comment. Is my job un-needed? Wait for the next natural disaster or terrorist attack and see.

      • Michael

        NO KIDDING, these people are ridiculous.

        PAY THE BILLS! OPEN THE GOVERNMENT!

        • will

          It's Obama fault, he is the one stopping coal, he is causing the people to lose jobs, ask all the drug company rep's that have lost there job. Also ask the health care people who are getting paid less for the services they gave. It's all the president fault, just believe the facts.

  • Melvin

    THEIR jobs will be in jeopardy as well, not THERE jobs will be in jeopardy as well. Sorry, big pet peeve. Plus, I have nothing better to do since I'm furloughed and home without pay today.

  • JeffMac

    So why is it always the Republicans and not the Democrats that take the blame? The President is the one who won't back off the healthcare plan that the working people are paying for.

    • Michael

      That is because they bill is/was on schedule to become law. They wanted to play games in the final hour to stop it but the game is OVER. The bill became law.

      NOW STOP HURTING AMERICA OVER IT AND PAY THE DARN BILLS!!

  • JTC

    Thank you congressman McKantly and CapiNO!

    • RogerD

      Those two didn't cause the shutdown.

      • Debra

        Yes they did. They voted with the rest of the Republican Party to shut down the government. And when voting on new amendments to open the government they voted no.

        • RogerD

          Debra, you are showing your ignorance. It was the senate that said no to any amendments on this bill. McKinley and Capito both serve in the House.

          • Michael

            WHAT BS!! They did it to stop Obamacare but it DIDN'T STOP IT!!!

            So why are they still killing jobs????