Potential shutdown would hit hardest at Colorado Springs military bases

Published: Jan. 18, 2018 at 1:27 PM MST
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Hurried shutdown planning meetings began at military bases across the Pikes Peak region Wednesday as leaders prepared for federal budget gridlock that would come if a deal isn't approved by Friday.

The biggest impact of a federal shutdown would hit at the five bases, where as many as 6,000 civilian employees face furloughs, troops could see pay delays and amenities like military grocery stores and daycare centers could shutter until a budget accord is reached.

"We are hopeful that there is enough time for Congress to prevent a lapse in appropriations," U.S. Northern Command said in a statement issued Wednesday.

On Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan rolled out a short-term budget proposal with GOP backing. That bill faced an uncertain future in the upper chamber where Senate leaders will need at least nine Democrats to join majority Republicans to advance it to a vote.

It's that uncertainty that had bases bracing for trouble Wednesday.

"Prudent management requires planning for the possibility of a shutdown," the Northern Command statement said.

Colorado Springs Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn was optimistic that the GOP can get a short-term deal done before Friday's deadline.

"No one is going to shut down the government," he predicted.

But in the Senate, where tensions remain high over last week's failure to reach an immigration accord - an effort that notoriously devolved into scatological language - things look less rosy.

When asked for Colorado Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet's position on the shutdown-stopping effort, his staff referred to his recent social media posts on immigration issues.