NASHVILLE - More than 1,500 Tennessee National Guard military technicians and contract employees were furloughed without pay today due to the federal government's partial shutdown, officials say.
Maj. Gen. Max Haston, Tennessee's Adjutant General, notified employees last week of possible furloughs if Congress and the Obama administration failed to agree on a temporary funding resolution that funds many functions of government.
"This is an across the board furlough effecting essentially every military technician and contract employee in the Tennessee Army and Air National Guard," Haston said in a statement. "There is no question that this will cause serious hardships on our employees and degrade our ability to conduct operations, but even with the government shutdown, our remaining Soldiers and Airmen will strive to continue to meet the challenges and ensure the security of our state and nation."
Haston said the state's Active Guard and Reserve and Tennessee State employees will continue to work "and maintain essential operations of the Military Department."
The furloughs are the first immediate known impact of the fight in Washington in which congressional Republicans are battling to halt the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act.
But while threatening funding for many federal government operations, the law itself continues on with today's opening of the online health insurance exchanges in which President Barack Obama predicts millions of Americans will be able to find health coverage with federal subsidies if they qualify.