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Looming Debt Ceiling Deadline Worries Military Families

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The government shutdown is hurting families all across the country, but an even greater crisis could be just days away.

If Congress doesn't raise the U.S. Government's debt limit soon, it won't be able to pay its bills.

That means yet another wave of worry for Fort Hood families.

"I worry about young families, how they're going to feed their children," says Army wife Cene Cleaton.

She and fellow military spouse Randi Williams are both stay at home moms, and if not for a "Hail Mary" law passing last week to pay the military, the current shutdown would have cut off their only income.

"I remember those feelings, it was not knowing," Randi said through tears.

Now the October 17, debt ceiling deadline brings about a new cause for financial uncertainty.

"So when that doom started hanging over us again, I started scrambling, what are we going to, we have three kids we have to take care of," said Randi.

If Congress can't find common ground and raise the debt limit on time, the government can't borrow any more money.

The Treasury would have to pick and choose what bills to pay, including cutting troops' paychecks on November 1.

Cene says, "I'm wondering why our clown-show administration can't get something done. This is ridiculous."

A debt ceiling crisis would also hit the Military's civilian workforce, still recovering from the spring's sequestration furloughs, while some are currently on a second round of furloughs caused by the shutdown.

"We have so many civilian friends, and they support the mission. I mean, they're needed," said Cene.

She says her deployed husband's resolve and willingness to put his life on the line doesn't depend on money.

"There's not a doubt in my mind that he would continue to do it for no pay."

Still, military families are depending on paychecks that have been on the line far too often for comfort.

"It kind of takes a hit on your patriotism," Randi said.

The House of Representatives is expected to put forth a plan that would tie spending cuts to the debt limit increase.

Democrats don't want the healthcare standoff to be used as a bargaining chip.

Reporter: Sophia Stamas sstamas@kcentv.com

Photographer: Chris Buford cbuford@kcentv.com

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