WASHINGTON – Hundreds of federal employees and advocates from the American Federation of Government Employees and a dozen other organizations joined with House members at a rally across from the U.S. Capitol today, demanding an end to the government shutdown.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Keith Ellison and Raúl Grijalva and other House members took to the stage to demand that they be allowed to vote on a clean continuing resolution that would end the government shutdown.
AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. noted that the shutdown has locked innocent federal employees out of their jobs for two full workweeks.
“Here we are on Day Ten – ten days of crazy, irresponsible nonsense,” Cox said. “Ten days of people having to go to work without a paycheck. Ten days of people locked out of their jobs, prevented from doing the work the American people hired them to do. Ten days of the House of Representatives holding our tax dollars hostage.”
Half of the 670,000 employees AFGE represents have been furloughed without pay during the shutdown, while half are being forced to work without a paycheck.
“But each and every one of us – 100 percent of us – wants to serve the American people. We want a clean CR passed now, right now,” Cox said.
Cox noted that the shutdown was not just affecting federal employees. Veterans are unable to file new benefits claims, children from low-income families are being locked out of Head Start assistance programs, the flying public has been put at risk because aviation safety inspectors have been furloughed.