Deployed troops unable to watch NFL playoffs due to government shutdown

BOSTON — As a result of both Democrats and Republicans failing to resolve a standoff over immigration and spending, the United States government has been shut down indefinitely - meaning everyone, even troops overseas, has been affected.

There is a lot of fallout from the shutdown, from government employees who aren't being paid, including the Defense Department, to the "Armed Forces Network" being taken off the air, the effects of a standstill government can be felt across the board.

Since the AFN has been taken off the air, that means many of our troops overseas won't be able to watch the NFL playoffs tomorrow.

Surely it's not the biggest issue surrounding a government shut down, but it's a big morale issue.

Watching the Patriots on the Armed Forces Network has been a comforting piece of home for army Sergeant Matt Connolly, who's serving in South Korea.

"It's kind of the only thing we can do for fun over here," Connolly told Boston 25 News.

For the first time since he's been stationed in Korea, his family came to visit him for the AFC Championship game.

"I'm actually on leave right now - my family from Boston is here right now and we were looking forward to watching the game," said Connolly.

With no one to run it, AFN is off the air.

The NFL says it is providing free access to Sunday's Championships via the NFL Game Pass to all USO centers.

"No matter what I'm going to watch them," said Connolly.

Senator Ed Markey says he's in a holding pattern right now as he says he and most of his colleagues are preparing to negotiate through the night - but it's still unclear if that will be an option.

Immigration issues are at the center of the shut down, where Republicans don't want to negotiate on those issues until a spending bill is passed and the government re-opens.

However, those immigration issues - including the DREAMERS Act - are a priority for Democrats.

Senator Markey told Boston 25 News he believes everyone needs to continue working to find some sort of compromise and he wants President Donald Trump to take the lead.

"Bill Belichick is telling the New England Patriots for tomorrow 'Do your job' and we are saying to President Trump for tomorrow 'Do your job, Mr. President,' make sure that the funding is there for our troops, make sure that our defense is taken care of but make sure that we also protect child health and the Dreamers, but thus far he's been unwilling to do his job," said Senator Markey.

Locally, the shut down has closed several locations, such as the JFK Library and the Bunker Hill Monument.

Other locations and services, however, are still running.

USCG says that, despite the shut down, some services are still running. They will still be on duty for anything that qualifies as protecting national security, or life and property - that could mean breaking up ice jams if homes or people are in danger.