Military

Government Shutdown….How Would the Public Really Feel the Effects?

imagesEverybody is talking about a midnight deadline for a Government Shutdown. Because that is the official time that all discretionary spending (which is the portion that Congress controls) halts as the federal government rolls over from fiscal 2013 to fiscal 2014 on Oct. 1.

Despite the frenzy in Washington, the government might not turn into a pumpkin right away.

Vacationers would be turned away from national parks and Smithsonian museums.  Low-to-moderate income borrowers and first-time homebuyers seeking government-backed mortgages could face delays.

A list below from the Associated Press:

LOANS

Many low-to-moderate incomes borrowers and first-time homebuyers seeking government-backed mortgages could face delays during the shutdown. The Federal Housing Administration, which guarantees about 30 percent of home mortgages, wouldn’t underwrite or approve any new loans during the shutdown. Action on government-backed loans to small businesses would be suspended.

MILITARY

The military’s 1.4 million active duty personnel would stay on duty, but their paychecks would be delayed. About half of the Defense Department’s civilian employees would be furloughed.

AIR TRAVEL

Federal air traffic controllers would remain on the job and airport screeners would keep funneling passengers through security checkpoints. Federal inspectors would continue enforcing safety rules.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

The State Department would continue processing foreign applications for visas and U.S. applications for passports, since fees are collected to finance those services. Embassies and consulates overseas would continue to provide services to American citizens.

BENEFIT PAYMENTS

Social Security and Medicare benefits would keep coming, but there could be delays in processing new disability applications. Unemployment benefits would still go out.

FEDERAL COURTS

Federal courts would continue operating normally for about 10 business days after the start of a shutdown, roughly until the middle of October. If the shutdown continues, the judiciary would have to begin furloughs of employees whose work is not considered essential. But cases would continue to be heard.

MAIL

Deliveries would continue as usual because the U.S. Postal Service receives no tax dollars for day-to-day operations. It relies on income from stamps and other postal fees to keep running.

RECREATION

All national parks would be closed, as would the Smithsonian museums, including the National Zoo in Washington. Visitors using overnight campgrounds or other park facilities would be given 48 hours to make alternate arrangements and leave the park. Among the visitor centers that would be closed: the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York, Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Alcatraz Island near San Francisco and the Washington Monument.

HEALTH

New patients would not be accepted into clinical research at the National Institutes of Health, but current patients would continue to receive care. Medical research at the NIH would be disrupted and some studies would be delayed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be severely limited in spotting or investigating disease outbreaks, from flu to that mysterious MERS virus from the Middle East.

FOOD SAFETY

The Food and Drug Administration would handle high-risk recalls suspend most routine safety inspections. Federal meat inspections would be expected to proceed as usual.

HEAD START

A small number of Head Start programs, about 20 out of 1,600 nationally, would feel the impact right away. The federal Administration for Children and Families says grants expiring about Oct. 1 would not be renewed. Over time more programs would be affected. Several of the Head Start programs that would immediately feel the pinch are in Florida. It’s unclear if they would continue serving children.

FOOD ASSISTANCE

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, could shut down. The program provides supplemental food, health care referrals and nutrition education for pregnant women, mothers and their children.

School lunches and breakfasts would continue to be served, and food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, would continue to be distributed. But several smaller feeding programs would not have the money to operate.

TAXES

Americans would still have to pay their taxes and file federal tax returns, but the Internal Revenue Service says it would suspend all audits. Got questions? Sorry, the IRS says taxpayer services, including toll-free help lines, would be shut as well.

SCIENCE

NASA will continue to keep workers at Mission Control in Houston and elsewhere to support the International Space station, where two Americans and four others are deployed. The National Weather Service would keep forecasting weather and issuing warnings and the National Hurricane Center would continue to track storms. The scientific work of the U.S. Geological Survey would be halted.

HOMELAND SECURITY

The majority of the Department of Homeland Security’s employees are expected to stay on the job, including uniformed agents and officers at the country’s borders and ports of entry, members of the Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration officers, Secret Service personnel and other law enforcement agents and officers. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees would continue to process green card applications.

PRISONS

All 116 federal prisons would remain open, and criminal litigation would proceed.

VETERANS SERVICES

Most services offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs will continue because lawmakers approve money one year in advance for the VA’s health programs. Veterans would still be able to visit hospitals for inpatient care, get mental health counseling at vet centers or get prescriptions filled at VA health clinics. Operators would still staff the crisis hotline and claims workers would still process payments to cover disability and pension benefits. But those veterans appealing the denial of disability benefits to the Board of Veterans Appeals will have to wait longer for a decision because the board would not issue any decisions during a shutdown.

WORK SAFETY

Federal occupational safety and health inspectors would stop workplace inspections except in cases of imminent danger.

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Where are the Facts?….Defense Budget Faces Cuts To Personnel After Decade of War

Shape Our Lives 4 by 6 copyBy: Williamsburg Military Insider

I rarely ever put a opinion out there on articles I read.  But as I came across this story written by Mr. David Wood, Defense Budget Faces Cuts To Personnel After Decade of War…I had to say something.

What does Mr. Wood  honestly expect to add to the national discussion with a story that has more errors than facts? . As a military wife, I’m terrified that readers might actually think this story features facts. Mr. Wood has  a responsibility to inform the public, inherent in that responsibility is that your information be TRUE. Mr. Wood, Military Members are all – VOLUNTEERS. They chose to stand up, put the best interests and security of the country first, even at the risk of their own lives. They aren’t in it for glory, or fame, or getting their names in the papers. They do it because it’s the right thing to do. They do it to protect your right to malign and degrade them, to say they don’t deserve a good paycheck for the price of their lives. A paycheck, I might add, that is paid for by the government, and your taxes, which they also pay. In effect, they pay themselves to safeguard our way of life.

You should personally thank each and every one of these military members for their service and their courage to protect your rights and your freedoms.

Military Families to Get Free National Parks Pass

Active-duty military personnel and their dependents will soon be able to enter every national park for free as part of an effort to thank service members and their families for the sacrifices they make, the Interior Department announced Tuesday.

An annual pass will be made available to members of the military free of charge beginning Saturday, which is Armed Forces Day. The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Annual Pass ordinarily costs $80. It provides access to more than 2,000 national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands.

The initiative is being marked with a Tuesday ceremony at Colonial National Historical Park in Yorktown, Va., the site of the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War.

New HAMP Enhancements Will Help Military Homeowners who are PCSing

I wanted to share this post from the Treasury Department.  I am excited about this change and the possibility it will help many Military Homeowners current in their Mortgages.  The effect date for this is June 1, 2012

In the last few weeks, Treasury and the Office of Servicemember Affairs at the CFPB have worked together to address this issue. And, as a result, Treasury is making important changes to its Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) that will provide more opportunities for mortgage assistance to military homeowners.

New Outdoor Recreational Facility for Military near Williamsburg at Cheatham Annex

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

An expanded outdoor recreational facility for military veterans and their families was revealed last week during their grand opening at Cheatham Annex, part of the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station.

Among the new amenities are 16 cottages, 50 recreation vehicle hook-up sites and 20 tent campsites. Six of the new cottages have two bedrooms and 10 are three-bedroom units. Included with the cottages and RV sites is a new comfort facility that has showers, a laundry room and lounge.

The Navy says the project cost $6.5 million and took a year-and-a-half to complete.

The MWR Outdoor Recreation facility provides year-round services for active duty, reserve and retired military and their dependents. Along with cottages, RV sites and campsites, MWR Outdoor Recreation has boat and kayak rentals, mountain bikes and fishing gear.

I am a REALTOR with Liz Moore & Associates Also; I am part of the Liz Moore & Associates’ Military Team which specializes in homes for sale in James City County, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, VA as well as surrounding markets. I offer Active Duty friendly support to families relocating to Langley Air Force Base, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, and Cheatam Annex. When you PCS to Hampton Roads, VA you will find that I understand that when a family member joins the military, the entire family belongs…thank you for serving our Country, and I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

When you are transferring to Langley AFB, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station or Cheatam Annex, if you’re interested in buying a home for sale call 757-651-3763 e-mail me at jenniferhernandez@lizmoore.com

Active Duty Military Short Sale Program…Great News for Hampton Roads Active Duty Military.

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

With the press release of from the White House earlier this week; there is some great news for Military Home owners who are underwater on their mortgage with PCS orders in hand. The settlement came about by the Department of Justice Reaching Agreement to Compensate Servicemembers for Wrongful Foreclosures.  If you currently have a Home Mortgage from one of these lenders Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and Ally and faced with a short sale possibility.  Under the National Mortgage Settlement working with your lender, all of the participating servicers will provide mandatory short sale agreements and deficiency waivers to certain service members who are currently ineligible for HAP.

  • JPMorgan Chase/Washington Mutual
    Chase Homeownership Center
    (866) 372-6901
  • Ally Financial-GMAC
    (800) 766-4622
  • Citibank/Citimortgage
    (866) 272-4749
  • Wells Fargo/Wachovia
    (800) 288-3212
  • HUD-Approved Housing Counselor
    (800) 569-4287

After talking with your lender and you meet the guidelines, Active Duty Service Members  who bought their homes between July 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008, or who received a PCS after October 1, 2010 you want to get with your Realtor who is knowledgeable with a Military Move.  A Military Friendly Realtor will be able to guide you through the short sale process and work with your lender in getting it accomplished.  The National Mortgage Settlement page has a lot of useful information how it directly affects Active Duty Service members.

If you live in the Hampton Roads area and have any questions on starting the short sale process please feel free to contact me.

I am a REALTOR with Liz Moore & Associates Also; I am part of the Liz Moore & Associates’ Military Team which specializes in homes for sale in James City County, Newport News, Hampton, York County, Poquoson, and Williamsburg, VA as well as surrounding markets. I offer Active Duty friendly support to families relocating to Langley Air Force Base, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, and Cheatam Annex. When you PCS to Hampton Roads, VA you will find that I understand that when a family member joins the military, the entire family belongs…thank you for serving our Country, and I look forward to serving your real estate needs!

When you are transferring to Langley AFB, Ft. Eustis, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station or Cheatam Annex, if you’re interested in buying a home for sale call 757-651-3763 e-mail me at jenniferhernandez@lizmoore.com

Chief Tecumseh (Poem from Act of Valor)

By: Williamsburg Military Insider

The movie Act of Valor at the end, has this amazing poem by Native American Shawnee Chief, Tecumseh. I wanted to share it with you all. As a Current Military Spouse it has a special place. It’s truly amazing and I hope that it inspires you to make this life count, to pursue noble undertakings, and live to the fullest  having used all your talents and have no regrets.

“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”