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Officials Order Pantex to Shutdown

Following the government's financial disagreements, Pantex is being ordered to begin an orderly shutdown.
As of October 7, Pantex has gotten direction from Washington to plan for a "holiday like" status, or an orderly shutdown.

In  the next 7-10 days officials at Pantex will be telling some workers to plan for a "holiday."

Congressman Mac Thornberry described the orderly shut down by comparing it to the Christmas holiday at the plant.

Thornbery explains, "if we get to that point, there would not be a lot of weapons work going on, but security and the essential things to maintain the safety of those weapons would be continued."

Thornberry tells us the "holiday status" or "orderly shutdown" means workers will have to take some time off until a  comprise is reached in Washington, ending the government shutdown.

He believes the shutdown could have a drastic affect on our local economy, depending on how long it lasts.

But as the House continues passing targeted funding bills, Thornberry says things will start to look up for many local workers.

"On Wednesday of this week we are set to vote on a trageted funding bill for the nuclear weapons complex.  And hopefully that is one of the targeted funding bills that the senate will pass, the president will sign.."

Thornberry says if the bill passes, that would mean Pantex employees will never have to go through something like this again.

As far as how long the shutdown will last, Thornberry says there's no way to know for sure.

He says, "the treasurey has told us that we will reach the debt limit by October 17.  My assumption is sometime between now and then these issues will have to be resolved."

Thornberry says he believes there is no reason to have people who are essential to the security of our country, like workers at Pantex, to not be able to show up to work every day.

There are about 1,000 employees at Pantex's Amarillo plant.

At this point, Pantex officials aren't releasing how many workers could be affected.
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