At 12:01 a.m. EDT Tuesday morning it was clear Congress was at an impasse, forcing 800,000 federal employees into furlough.
At least 1,600 civilians at Millington Naval Support Activity Mid-South were forced into unpaid furloughs.
The federal government shutdown also left more than 1,500 Tennessee National Guard military technicians and contract employees throughout the state on unpaid furlough.
Major General Max Haston, Tennessee's Adjutant General, notified employees last week of possible furloughs beginning Oct. 1.
"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. "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. Our Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and Tennessee State employees will continue to work and maintain essential operations of the Military Department."
Civilian workers at Millington Naval Support Activity Mid-South were gathered up by department and given the news Tuesday morning.
"I likened it to cattle being led to slaughter cause they called us all into a room together," a Millington Naval civilian contractor told FOX13 News by cellphone. "You know, it was kind of a somber time. We tried to take it as lightly as we could."
Millington naval civilian employees said for weeks they've watched members of the House and Senate in Congress quarrel like kids on the playground, blaming each other and claiming they had American's best interest at heart.
"Congress knew Oct. 1 was coming," the civilian contractor said. "It's been looming for a while.Iif they can't get together and sign the budget or at least, very least, sign a continuing resolution to keep our government going, to keep our government funded, they need to be taken out of office."
There are roughly 25,000 civilian employees workers across the state of Tennessee who are now off the job, hopefully temporarily.
At the Ordell Horton Federal Building in Downtown Memphis, it was business as usual except the Departments of Immigration and Labor were closed.
Also at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the lights were on, but the doors were locked. The shutdown has temporarily closed the Internal Revenue Service's office in Memphis.
The last time Congress was deadlocked was in 1996. Back then the stalemate lasted three weeks.
This time the point of contention seems to focus on Obamacare.
Some naval civilian employees say even children learn to compromise and that there are consequences for your actions.
"I think there's a large group of government civilian who are going to band together at the next election and they're going to get these people out," the Millington naval civilian employee said.
After working for the government for 27 years, she has a message for Congress: grow up and find middle ground.
"They're Democrats, they're Republicans, they fight, they have their own agendas," she said. "But what they need to think of they're American, we're American, and we all need to fight the good fight and that's to keep America running."
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
Didn't find what you were looking for?