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With its first shutdown since 1996, the failed negotiations in Congress between Republican and Democratic parties are hitting a little closer to home than students might know.
The Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s ROTC’s trip to Camp Dawson training camp in West Virginia was canceled upon notice of the government shutdown Tuesday.
The trip, scheduled for Oct. 4-6, was intended to serve as “advanced training” for junior ROTC students, according to Lt. Col. David Meyer, professor of military science and detachment commander of the IUP ROTC program.
“As a result of the government shutdown, federal law directs that all non-emergency and contingency operations be canceled,” Meyer said.
No plans have been made to reschedule the training or relocate the training, according to Meyer.
The shutdown, caused by a funding lapse at the end of the government’s fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 each year, halted many government functions such as paying out small business loans, funding agencies and processing passport requests, according to CNN Politics.
“All non-emergency operations were canceled when funding lapsed on Oct. 1,” Meyer said. “We do have three federal civilian employees who have been furloughed, but the military and contract instructors and staff will continue operations. The ROTC battalion here at IUP will continue to conduct classes for our cadets.”
IUP’s ROTC program was not the only program to be affected by the government shutdown. The government shutdown halted IUP’s Disability Support Service’s involvement in the Workforce Recruitment Program – a recruitment and referral program connecting college students and graduates with disabilities to federal and private sector employers nationwide.
WRP interviews scheduled for the week of Sept. 30 through Oct. 4 with federal WRP interviewer Melissa Sims were canceled as a result of the government shutdown.
Due to the federal government’s failure to pass a budget to fund federal government operations in fiscal year 2014, “all activities of the WRP will be suspended indefinitely,” Amber Cheek, of the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, said in an Oct. 1 email to WRP Campus Coordinators.
“All federal employees, including recruiters, will be barred from accessing email and voicemail and will be restricted from any federal work, which includes conducting WRP interviews,” Cheek said.
Because of her status as a federal worker, Cheek is now unable to access WRP office email and voicemail until “further notice.” The WRP website is offline, as well, until the shutdown is over.
The shutdown is said to be linked to Obamacare, according to USA Today. The Republican-run House of Representatives passed a spending bill to maintain spending levels – this bill did not allocate funding to Obamacare. The Democrat-led Senate insisted that Obamacare – or the Afforable Care Act – be funded. Neither would budge and the deadline to pass spending bills that fund the government came and went, thus resulting in the government shut down.