WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- With the clock ticking, lawmakers and the President are weighing a potential deal to keep the government open this week, while beefing up border security. As that plays out, some federal workers say they hope they don’t get stuck in the middle.
A pair of federal corrections workers tell us the last government shutdown was a huge financial hit. Now they worry it could happen all over again.
“At this point, it would be absolutely terrible. It would be devastating immediately,” said Sean Favero, Chief Steward of Local #1570 Tallahassee.
Tallahassee’s Sean Favero and Ray Coleman are lobbying their Florida lawmakers on Capitol Hill to do all they can to prevent another government shutdown. The local union leaders worry about staff shortages, delayed training, and whether that could make prisons more dangerous.
“There is a lot of concern right now, a lot of anxiety, a lot of nervousness,” said Ray Coleman, Jr., Local #1570 Union President of Tallahassee.
Lawmakers are considering a compromise to fund about $1.4 billion dollars at the border to avoid a partial shutdown this Friday. Democratic Congressman Al Lawson - who met with Favero and Coleman - says this is a fair deal.
“There’s no need to put your problems on the back of federal employees and that’s something that is unacceptable,” said Lawson.
Wall or no wall, federal workers staged a protest Wednesday with silence for 35 minutes in the Hart Senate office lobby, with a chime each minute representing the hardship felt during the last shutdown.
Their call to action may be a quiet one but federal workers are sending a powerful message to lawmakers: don’t shut the government down again.
GOP Senator Rick Scott says shutdowns should never happen. But he argues this deal falls short.
“I’m extremely disappointed with the amount of money in this compromise,” said Scott.
Scott is also pushing for a bill that would withhold pay from Congressmen during a shutdown. There’s also bipartisan talks on Capitol Hill to pass legislation to end these shutdowns, entirely.