Tensions were high at an emergency town hall meeting held Rep Jim Moran (D-VA) last Thursday, April 7th to address concerns regarding a potential government shutdown. Frustrated constituents shouted from the audience, asking the congressman to work longer hours and through the upcoming two week holiday break. A large number of federal workers live in Moran's Northern Virginia district.
He mentioned that this was the sixth continuing resolution and attempt to finalize funding to keep the government from shutting down, but said he "saw no reason why [lawmakers] would not keep the government running at the same level of spending for just a few days."
One of the audience members was Wayne Tunick, a 27 year disabled veteran who had a question for his representative that affects hundreds of thousands of military personnel fighting for our country: “Why are you here and not in congress trying to figure out how to stop this from happening?”
Tunick was referring to a memo released by the Department of Defense which stated that in the case of a government shutdown, the Pentagon would continue to prosecute the war in Afghanistan, but “All military personnel will continue in a normal duty status” but that “military personnel will serve without pay until such time as Congress makes appropriated funds available to compensate them for this period of service.”
Though the rhetoric of the guidance issued by the DOD was airy and fluffy, its meaning was not: our brave men and women will continue to fight, but without getting paid.
While members of Congress often believe they are serving some sort of selfless service by holding a town hall and allowing constituents access to them, Mr. Tunick’s question is the most important question that could have been asked to a representative while they are less than 24 hours away from the government shutting down; “what are you doing here?”
While lawmakers did come to an agreement shortly before midnight Friday night, the American peoples’ anger has not ceased. Is Mr. Tunick’s question, followed by Rep Moran’s disrespectful reply indicative of what’s to come?
Don’t miss Sean interview Veteran Wayne Tunick on tonight’s ‘Hannity’ on the Fox News Channel 9pm/ET.