Shutdown may shoot down chance at assistance for people

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by Brian Farrell

WVEC.com

Posted on September 30, 2013 at 11:45 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 1 at 12:00 AM

PORTSMOUTH -- "I think we're all pawns in one giant American chess game," said Laura Gutleben, referring to the situation on Capitol Hill where the back-and-forth continued Monday despite the threat of a government shutdown.

"I don't have anything constructive to say. I wish they would pull their heads out of their butts and pay attention to what we need, 'we' being the people of America," Gutleben told 13News Now.

Gutleben's husband is a civilian worker at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. For the time being, he expects his job will not be affected by furloughs triggered by the federal shutdown.

In July, however, Gutleben's husband was furloughed. It was 2 months after doctors diagnosed him with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Because of the furlough in July, money in the couple's home has been tight.

Wednesday, Gutleben planned to apply for assistance from Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), but the program may shutdown along with the government. Essentially, help that may have offset the effects of the furlough in July may not be available.

"We may be told 'no.' We may be told 'yes.' We don't know, and right now, that's all I can say about this entire situation," Gutleben said.

"I've got a friend of mine," the mother of 2 shared, "if WIC is cut off for them, they've got no way to feed their kids. With me, at least, I have a family in the area, but she doesn't. I know a lot of people who are in worse situations, and it bugs me, 'cause, like I said, it's just one giant American chess game."

 

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