Rhode Islanders feel effects of government shutdown

Rhode Islanders feel the effect of the government shutdown. (WJAR)

The government shutdown is beginning to affect families around Southern New England.

Due to the shutdown, Coast Guard members are working without pay. That is because the Coast Guard is paid by the Department of Homeland Security and not the Defense Department like the other branches of the military.

Amber Broadway and her family live on the Coast Guard base in Bourne. Her husband has served in the branch for 14 years and the couple has two children. Her husband has not received a paycheck in nearly two weeks.

"How am I going to keep things normal at home how am I going to make sure we have food?" said Broadway.

On a member website, CGSuprt.com, the Coast Guard provides pages with contacts for financial services for families. The site also went so far as to include a suggestion page on how to make money during the shutdown with ideas like having a garage sale or starting a dog-walking service. After a backlash, that page has recently been taken down.

"We're having to plan like we can't provide for our families," added Broadway.

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Meanwhile, air travel is being affected by the shutdown, as well. David Cardullo is an aviation safety inspector that works at airports around the region, including at T.F. Green. His job is to check planes for mechanical problems before they fly to try to prevent any issues in the air.

"We provide a lot of technical assistance so these operators are operating, they're maintaining aircraft, and all of a sudden something might happen, 'Oh what do I do with this? How do I handle this? How do I comply with this regulation?' Well who they gonna call? They call us,” Cardullo said.

He added that local operators are among the best in the business and they see very few problems locally, but he hopes nothing tragic has to happen to open the eyes of politicians to the effects the shutdown is having.

This is the third shutdown Cardullo has been affected by in his seven years working for the Federal Aviation Commission. He said in the past he has received back pay, but he’s not sure if that will happen this time especially because he’s not working.

"That level of safety is not there, and it's not fair to the flying public," he said.


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