UPDATE: Congress to vote Thursday to fund National Guard during shutdown
NORTH LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -The House of Representatives will vote as early as Thursday morning to fund reserve military personnel who are inactive status. The Fund Our Guard and Reserve Act (H.R. 3230) will then be sent to Senate if it passes the House Thursday.
Rep. Tim Griffin told Channel 7 News that he is hopeful it will be passed.
"I have no doubt it will pass. We will send it to the Senate [Thursday]. I'd be shocked if they don't move quickly and get it to the President's desk," Griffin said.
The Arkansas National Guard furloughed 1,100 employees Wednesday and announced monthly inactive duty training would be delayed indefinitely until further notice because the federal government shutdown.
"As of right now, 10,000 Guardsmen won't receive October training," Major Matt Snead told Channel 7 News.
Helicopters were grounded and maintenance centers shuttered Wednesday. But not only has activity halted at Camp Robinson - so have the paychecks.
The Arkansas National Guard furloughed 1,100 employees, many of whom are dual status federal employees and members of the Arkansas National Guard. Because of the their dual status, many of those being sent home have served overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is the same group that received salary and hourly deductions during the sequester.
"This has a definite impact on morale. It hurts morale, it hurts readiness," said Maj. Gen. William Wofford.
Still, Gen. Wofford said at this point, there is no need for concern if a major disaster were to hit Arkansas.
"The Guard is prepared. We're always ready, we're always there, even though we've got half of our workforce furloughed right now. If there's a state emergency, we'll call them in and they respond in a state status anyway," Wofford explained.