Federal Employees Rally for an End to Government Shutdown
By Melanie Zayas, SNJ Today Reporter
EGG HARBOR CITY, N.J. -
It has been exactly one month since the start of the partial federal government shutdown and many federal workers and federal contractors are feeling the pain of working without pay, or not working at all.
On Monday, January 21st, the New Jersey stateAFL-CIO brought together legislators from South Jersey to speak with dozens of federal employees being affected by the partial federal government shutdown that is now a month old.
Senator Bob Menendez and Congressmen DonaldNorcross and Jeff Van Drew assured those in attendance that they are working for a solution for those currently struggling and living without a paycheck.
“Our message is very simple, just open up the government," said Menendez. "We’re gonna pay all of these federal workers anyhow; we should pay them to do their jobs. They want to get back to do their jobs."
"I commit to you, I promise to you, I’m gonna do every human thing I possibly can to try to make this better and we will try to help the contractors as well,” said Van Drew.
But at the end of day 31, government workers, William Pomales and Jill Miller, among many, still have to face a very ugly reality and a pain that's hard to ignore.
“The big expenses are not being covered. The mortgages, the car, the credit cards, all of that has been postponed. Some creditors have been very good about it, others don’t care,” said Pomales.
“We have to file for unemployment, we have no way to pay for our bills," said Miller. "Every day I find myself watching CNN orCSPAN to see if the politicians are trying to do anything and the first person I heard that seemed like they wanted to make a compromise was Jeff Van Drew right now. He’s like let’s not be Republicans and Democrats, let’s work together, let’s compromise."
Both lawmakers and federal employees hoping for a compromise to end the longest shutdown in our country's history.