Federal workers in Tulsa in limbo over government shutdown

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Reported by: Janna Clark
Updated: 9/30/2013 7:43 pm Published: 9/30/2013 4:58 pm

The federal government shutdown could mean more than 800,000 people nationwide could face furloughs, including some in Tulsa.

FOX23 learned 100 federal employees work in the federal courthouse downtown and they're not sure what's going to happen.

Federal employees told FOX23 they don't want to talk on camera, but when asked about furloughs, some said they've been watching the news all day because they're worried about them.

If there's a government shutdown the court clerk said there's enough Federal Reserve money for a 10-day cushion, during that time if the government stays shut down it would be up to federal judges at this courthouse to decide whether to furlough employees and how to do it.

They would be using federal guidelines and look at what services and employees are considered nonessential.

"This is a pretty big deal," said economics expert Jake Dollarhide.

He said if employees face furloughs that can hurt the economy.

"(A shutdown is) going to pinch a lot of checkbooks, a lot of wallets, and could affect movie theaters and restaurants and could impact the financial recovery of this country," he said.

The federal government hasn't shut down since the mid-90s. Federal employees told FOX23 they were furloughed then but eventually got paid. That might not happen this time.

"Unfortunately, these furloughs could be non-paid furloughs. Congress is going to act after the fact," he said.

For now it's business as usual at the courthouse, employees tell FOX23 they're just in limbo because no one knows what's going to happen.

Federal employees in Muskogee at the federal courthouse there are dealing with the same thing.

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