South Mississippians talk about the end of federal furloughs

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The shutdown may have ended, but some South Mississippi residents are convinced the turmoil within the federal government is far from over. Thursday, federal employees headed back to work after President Barack Obama signed a bill that averts a United States government default.

With its many restaurants and close proximity to Keesler Air Force Base and the Biloxi VA, K Plaza is a popular lunch spot for military and federal employees. Some people said they were happy to see the government open again.

"They're going back to work," said Neco Martinez. "There's a lot of people going back to work and I'm very happy for that."

However, for some people, the deal to end the shutdown leaves them with a bad taste. Even some of those furloughed workers, who've been off 16 days, say raising the debt ceiling isn't good for the country. Shirley Abels is one of them

"I actually supported the shutdown," said Abels. "I don't agree with some of the policies that were being discussed, so I felt like some real negotiation needed to take place, and I was willing to make the sacrifice even being furloughed. The debt ceiling is going to be detrimental to our nation. I believe that in my heart. If you can't pay your debts now how can raising your credit limit and spending more money going to help the situation. It's only going to worsen it, in our own homes, as well as our nation."

"I think it's something that could have been avoided, but we had to stick to our guns to figure out what we're going to do with this country," Billy Smith said. "Fight Obamacare. I think we're just going to go through the exact same thing come January in three months."

The agreement only funds the government through January 15th. So the question is will the country be in the same predicament in a few months?

"It's just another push back to another date to get more time. Buy more time. They've been doing this a couple of years now with the budget," said Caroline Randolph. "So it's just another push back of another date. I think that this should have never happened in the first place.  I'm worried about our credit rating for sure. I know that we've already been downgraded once or twice. I'm worried about being downgraded again and not being able to sell treasury bonds."

"I think we're not going back," Martinez said. "You heard the President, it's not happening again, so we're going to get past it. We're going to be fine."

Officials said federal workers who were furloughed will start seeing back pay in their paychecks October 25th.

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