CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Despite bringing back a significant number of its furloughed employees Tuesday, things are not back to normal for the West Virginia National Guard.

“We are degrading readiness every day that they don’t pass a full-blown budget,” said state Adjutant General Major General James Hoyer.

In Week 2 of a partial federal government shutdown, the National Guard has been able to call back roughly 996 of 1,150 employees who were furloughed last week. That is partly due to efforts by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and from state lawmakers, both in the Senate and the House of Delegates, who sent two letters containing more than 100 signatures to Congress. 

State Adjutant General James Hoyer addressed media in Tuesday press conference

Around 75 employees are still furloughed and Hoyer said that is still too many.

“These people rely on that money for college payments, for car payments and for house payments,” he said. “We have got to fix this.”

That fix did not come Tuesday from Washington as the standoff between Republican leaders in the U.S. House and Democrats in the U.S. Senate and the White House continued. During separate news conferences, House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama stood their ground in the debate.

Boehner claimed the president said he would not talk with them unless “there is unconditional surrender by Republicans.” Boehner argued that is not how government works.

Obama however, accused Republicans of threatening to cause a recession if the administration didn’t agree to defund Obamacare. He said he would only negotiate once Republicans “lift these threats” and pass a clean funding bill.

Meanwhile, during a news conference Tuesday in Charleston, Hoyer pointed out several areas where the Guard is still being adversely impacted by the shutdown even though they have called back many of their employees.

Those areas included small things such as not being able to make medical ID cards for employees because there was no federal funds to pay for more material and the cancellation of a motorcycle safety course.

A larger impact deals with the Guard being unable to receive new helicopters Oct. 1 to replace aging ones that are used for counter drug support and state active duty.

“The first helicopter is still sitting at the depot because we can’t go pick it up,” Hoyer said. “There were three pilots that were suppose to go to training to get proficient on that aircraft that we can’t send to school.”

Guard members are also unable to receive their flu shots because the Guard doesn’t have the federal funds to pay for the contracted service. Hoyer said the impact is also felt in the local community.

“We don’t have the ability to pay some of our contractors and vendors who are finishing construction projects here,” he said.

Thanks to the governor’s office, Hoyer has been given the flexibility to reallocate funds from other projects to be used to float salaries and keep Guard members working for the time being, at least until Oct. 16.

“The Guard in West Virginia will overcome obstacles and will make things happen to take care of our people in this state, but we shouldn’t have to operate this way,” said Hoyer.

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  • blugldmn

    Jim, the Obama administration's monetary policies are responsible for the largest transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the upper 1% that has ever occurred in this country.

  • Jim

    The American people need to start thinking out of the box. Republicans are using these threats of shutdown to make money for the ultra rich and themselves. Just think if you new this was going to happen ahead of time. You sell you stocks and wait. Stock market drops the threat of the shutdown goes away and you but back in. Huge money maker. I have already lost a lot of money over these idiots games.

    • George P

      Jim - You need to get a clue. It is the tens of millions of welfare receiving, Obama-loving Democrats that have sucked this country dry. When they see a help wanted sign they run the other way.

    • Jim

      Sorry about the spelling. So mad I didn't even proof read before posting.

  • Kate

    I'm pretty sure the called back members of the guard are working without pay... They should be reimbursed for unpaid work after the furlough, but for the time being they are working for free.

    • ConservativeRealist

      No - they are getting paid. The House passed a bill that funds the National Guard - it was sponsored by Capito - not Rahall and Manchin as touted by Hoyer. Hoyer is no Tackett and he needs to be careful with the politics he plays...he may end up losing his tin stars...

  • realitycheck

    The reality is that the Defense Department could care less about whether there is a Guard base in WV. It's not needed. It has not impact on the defense of our country. It is, sadly, a social welfare project for this state.

    • bp1023

      reality check you my friend are an idiot if u think the guard does nothing i hope the next time we have a flood ur house goes under and the guard aint there to save ur sorry ass

  • George P

    The WVNG has always been most proficient at PR and taking credit for other people's efforts. We are all impacted Gen Hoyer....did you really need to have a press conference?

    • ConservativeRealist

      Notice that he had to get in his civies because he got chastised for his comments the other day in uniform...He had to make it clear that he was speaking as the Gubernatorially appointed Adj. General. That's because it is a court martialable offense for a uniformed officer to criticize the civilian elected government...

  • NorthernWVman

    So really they are out of funds in a week? The Guard only manages day by day? Doesn't really add up to me.

  • Jdawg

    Do U really need a motorcycle safety course? What a waste of funds!!!!

  • Dale

    What is WV Guard doing a motorcycle safety program for? Talk about waste of funds. What other "programs" are they doing?

  • blugldmn

    Spot on Luke...

  • Luke

    What are we running here some kind of social welfare program? Quit whining and do you job General. If missing 5% of your full time force degrades your readiness, then you have bigger problems than a government shut down.

    • ConservativeRealist

      I noticed that Hoyer, in the media, thanked Rahall and Manchin - but omitted thanking Mckinley and Capito - two (2) that helped author the stop-gap measure to allow the National Guard to continue. Pure politics!!!

      If a 5% force reduction "degrades" the readiness because they can't run a "motorcycle safety program" or, "get flu shots" (which have been shown to be less than 10% effective) then perhaps he - and his staff - need to improve their resource management skills.

      Awfulizing and screaming that the sky is falling is getting lame. As RogerD stated, they closed the WW II Memorial to vets but eight (8) Democrats got the National Mall opened up for an illegal immigration protest with National Park Police support - that is just wrong on so many levels. Everyone wants to blame the GOP but all of this will get fixed if Obama and the Democratic Senate agree to cut Obamacare. Why is it wrong for one side to hold it's ground and righteous for another to do the same thing? Both sides are operating dysfunctionally and the liberal media is painting only the GOP as the bad guys...

      If Obama is such a great mediator, he would work towards compromise. Instead, he has held four (4) nationally televised press conferences trying to plead his case in the media. If he has/had such a strong position, he wouldn't need to plead his case...oh, and if it was such a "stressful time" he wouldn't be out golfing at Andrews AFB like he has been...

  • RogerD

    Obama and his party has managed this shutdown from the beginning. The CBO and OMB have estimated that a total of 17% of the government is actually shutdown. The administration has decided where and what cuts to make. That's why so many cuts were made to military related operations. He blocked off WWII vets access to their memorial but opened the National Mall so illegal aliens could have a rally. This in itself should illustrate his priorities.

  • wvman75

    Not the sharpest tool in the shed, huh?

  • Chas Holman

    Shutdowns are SUPPOSED to hurt. That is the point. That is what is so frustrating by this SELF MADE GOP crisis.

    Some 'patriots' they turned out to be. Bunch of dangerous phoneys.

    Only ONE party has the ability to open Government this minute if they WANT TO. And it isn’t the Democrats.

    I almost ENVY future history students reading and studying about the great GOP MANUFACTURED crisis of 2013.

    • ConservativeRealist

      NorthernWVMan is correct - everyone is blaming the House. The House has passed over a dozen spending bills and sent them to the Senate and Harry Reid has refused to put even a single one of them up for debate and/or discussion because he has declared himself the Court Jester to King Obama and, heaven forbid, he risk the slim majority he holds slipping and a couple of Conservative Democrats cross the aisle and vote with the GOP. If you are going to rant - which is encouraged in this forum - rants with facts. The facts are that the House has sent over a dozen budget bills to the Senate that the Senate has refused to even consider. Now who is keeping the government shuttered?

    • NorthernWVman

      Really? Just one has the ability? You speak of the same one that has already passed a multitude of bills that have been sent to the Senate.