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Armed forces members will get to watch National Football League after all

22 January 2018

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders seized on the AFN blackout, tweeting a picture of a television with an AFN logo and the phrase, "Due to the government shutdown, AFN services are not available".

Dubbed "Schumer's Shutdown", one of the effects of the Senate not being able to come to an agreement on a stopgap funding measure was that the network that carries National Football League games for military members overseas went dark just after midnight Friday, Star and Stripes reported.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said that NFL Game Pass would be free at USO centers for overseas troops.

Previous to this most recent update, Dana White, a chief Pentagon spokesperson, told CNN that "sports broadcasts are not considered an essential activity", thus calling for the suspension of the AFN. That's especially bad news for Eagles, Vikings and Jaguars fans, since those teams share a total of 4 trips to the Super Bowl between them and appearances in a championship game for all three teams have been rare.

Who Bears the Blame for a Government Shutdown?
In September, Trump announced he was ending the programme and gave Congress until 5 March to come up with new legislation. A bitter fight erupted in the Senate as it now holds the power to avoid a governmental shutdown by midnight Friday.

Not all members of the armed forces have access to USO facilities, but the league is trying to find a way to get them access to the games, per Pro Football Talk.

On Friday night the Senate was unable to pass a short-term spending bill leading to the first government shutdown since 2013. The network provides entertainment and command information to US service members worldwide. "I bet members of congress are gonna watch it", someone wrote on AFN Europe's Facebook page.

For those who have been in the armed services, life can be pretty miserable at times and the games are an invaluable way to rest and unwind. Sad that the men and women who have sacrificed so much are deprived of even the most basic connection to home bc Democrats are playing political games.

Armed forces members will get to watch National Football League after all