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A moment in time

What was The American Legion’s response to the two government shutdowns at the end of 1995?

Although the circumstances were not exactly the same – VA was not dealing with a claims backlog; hostilities in Bosnia were winding down with discussion on the Dayton Agreement; and the economy was somewhat better – The American Legion still had a careful eye on the happenings in Washington. According to John Sommer, then executive director of the Legion’s Washington office, "...The American Legion was communicating in strong terms to both Congress and the (Clinton) administration regarding any possible impact the shutdown might have on veterans and their families."

The first shutdown – Nov. 14-19, 1995 – was not long enough to affect military paychecks. The second – Dec. 16, 1995 to Jan. 6, 1996 – would have affected military pay, but defense appropriations sent through on Dec. 1 ensured no hiccup. During the two shutdowns, more than 400,000 veterans saw their disability benefits and pension claims delayed, and educational benefits were delayed to 170,000 servicemembers.

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Michael Caggiano

October 10, 2013 - 4:16pm

Government shutdowns based on demands by one faction is much more like economic terrorism than anything else I can think of. Since when do we negotiate and compromise with terrorists?


October 13, 2013 - 9:57pm

The enemy is always the guy on the other side.

Corrine Corbin

October 10, 2013 - 4:28pm

Since both parties are saying the other one is at fault and we can't believe either one anymore who's to say it's one faction. It's still economic terrorism and should be dealt with as such. All those at the head (top 5 persons) of both parties need to be arrested and charged with terrorism.


October 10, 2013 - 7:33pm


Joe Carsley

October 10, 2013 - 8:48pm

Since there is a Government shutdown that affects the pay of the military, Verterans and those of us who actually keep America Free with our Blood. Then I expect that All elected officials The President, his cabinet and all members of the house and Senate should not be paid and further should forfeit all pay and allowances for the next year. They have lived off our dime long enough, the original Government officials gave their time for free or next to nothing.

Seth A. Jones

October 11, 2013 - 7:41pm

I also agree completely, they should not be paid for NOT DOING THEIR JOB, everyone who in office now, the people should vote them out in the next election, this reminds me of 2 kids fighting over the last cookie in the bag.

Rebecca Clarkin

October 13, 2013 - 5:18pm

Agreed, the two fractions are fighting like spoiled Children. I thought we elected them to govern the people and were to represent us as a whole and not just for themselves to promote their own agendas. Compromise is the key to a successfully run nation. So no dinner, no allowance, go directly to your room and don't come out until you can compromise.

Patrick Matriscino

October 10, 2013 - 9:31pm



October 10, 2013 - 10:51pm

A Golden opportunity for smaller Government?


October 11, 2013 - 2:34am

If we don't pay-down the deficit by drastically downsizing the gov't there won't be any funds to pay our actively serving comrades, not to mention any veteran benefits!


October 11, 2013 - 3:00am

You folks have to stop watching the lame-stream-media to get your facts. The GI's pay is not affected, VA payment is. And to say that neither party is doing anything is crazy. The House has passed many bills to keep the govt going, pay its bills and pay VA claims...BUT the Senate has not passed a bill in two weeks unless you count the one that tells us when to celebrate annual chess month.

Leif Divoll

October 11, 2013 - 9:22am

Both sides are at fault here. Yes the house has passed and sent bills to the senate that they knew would be rejected and even if passed by the senate would be VETO'd by the white house. Both sides need to pull their collective heads out the asses and do the job they are paid to do. I agree the first ones that should lose their pay in a government shutdown is the ones causing it. The President and vice president as well as their cabinet as well as the whole congress.

But unfortunately, although they are already rich as hell they will still collect their huge paychecks while hundreds of thousands of government workers are furloughed and others deemed essential are forced to come to work without a pay check and those of us who made the sacrifices that we did for this country are forced to lose out on our disability compensation payments even though we count that money to get by month to month.

Problem is we are no longer a government of the people, by the people, for the people. We are now governed by those rich enough to buy the election. They don't care about the government shutdown because it does not affect their finances. They are already millionaires and still getting paid. It is the common folks that suffer especially those injured while serving their country who count on their VA pension to get by. Doesn't matter what side of the isle they are on, the left or the right. The right claims to have the military and A benefits a priority during their elections, but whom in the government fought for us veterans to ensure we still receive our benefits in which we earned during the shutdown. I'll help you no one. But they still receive their paychecks even though not earned.

Every member of congress as well as the white house has betrayed those of us whom sacrificed in order to keep them free. They should all be ashamed and honestly all should lose their jobs. Replace them all with real people who will works together to come to an agreement. Those rich traitors (yes the have betrayed their country and constituates)should all be fired and arrested and congress should be filled with ordinary people whom know what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck and have to balance a budget. And that includes the president.

Rebecca Clarkin

October 13, 2013 - 5:21pm

Agree with you 100%.


October 11, 2013 - 10:57am

This shutdown is thanks to Reid, Obama and the Senate Democrat extremists! Congress is only doing what they are Constitutionally mandated to do. Control spending! This is why we have the separation of powers! Obama and the Senate are trying to usurp the authority of Congress.

T skelley

October 11, 2013 - 11:02am

Amen, Brother.

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