FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – The Oct. 1 deadline is looming for federal lawmakers to pass a budget to avoid a government shutdown. Should there be a shutdown, some Fort Liberty soldiers won’t get paid.
“The whole Fayetteville community would be hit,” Mark Mayoras, a retired U.S. Army veteran said.
Mayoras served for more than 30 years and now owns Clean Juice and Soldier’s First Real Estate in Fayetteville. He said businesses and the housing market in Fayetteville would suffer if Fort Liberty soldiers don’t get paid.
“Every single business that is open and has $2 in their bank account. A $1.85 came from military customers. So, every single business, every single person in Fayetteville will be affected,” Mayoras said.
Many junior enlisted soldiers live paycheck to paycheck. The shutdown could impact how they pay their bills as well as other necessities such as groceries, even though they would receive backpay once the shutdown ends.
“Always the people that are affected can’t do anything about it,” Mayoras said.
A group of Republicans including Senator Ted Budd have been trying to get a bill passed that would allow soldiers to still get paid during the shutdown.
Senator Budd’s Office sent CBS 17 this statement,
“As critical budget negotiations continue in Washington, military servicemembers and their families shouldn’t have to worry about putting food on the table in the event of a government shutdown. I support Senator Sullivan’s common-sense bill to prevent that from happening. For the sake of our men and women in uniform, I call on Senator Schumer to bring this bill to the floor immediately.”
Mayoras is urging soldiers who might be impacted to change their spending habits, only buy necessities. Also, reach out to the businesses their owe money to for assistance.
“Let them know the situation and buy them some time until the government gets their act together,” Mayoras said.
He’s optimistic the shutdown won’t disturb soldiers’ pay. If it does happen, he said it likely will be short term. Either way, he said military pay shouldn’t even be a debate.
“Soldiers that are going and putting their lives on the line for us so we can sleep at night, don’t have enough money to go to the grocery store to feed their family, that doesn’t look good, and it’s embarrassing to every American. So, we need to get our act together and pass it for those people,” Mayoras said.