Fear of eviction, inability to pay their mortgages and feed their children among the fears of federal workers.
SECURITY GUARD AT THE SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM, FAYE SMITH, STANDING IN FRONT OF SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL‘S OFFICE SAYING:
“I’m here today to bring my bill for Mr. Mitch McConnell, to show him, if you’re not familiar, I want a ‘Second Chance’ [rent credit] program. I have to have my rent in on time. I have no more money coming in. I am a guard at The Smithsonian Institute and I need my rent paid and I have nothing and I need to know when is he going to open things back up because I’m about to be evicted. If I don’t have my rent in by the first of next month, through the ‘Second Chance’ program, I will be evicted.”
JANITOR AT U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, AUDREY MURRAY, AT PANEL SAYING:
“I am a single mother. I lost my husband last year. I bought me a house in the process, and I’m worried about how I’m going to pay my mortgage.”
JANITOR AT U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, ANGELA VASQUEZ, SAYING:
“It’s heartbreaking when my children come home from school hungry, open the fridge, and there’s nothing there. They ask me, ‘Mom, why is there no food, why haven’t you bought food?’ I tell them I’m going to go tomorrow. They don’t need to know what’s going on as it’s traumatic for them too. Therefore I ask the government to please reopen the buildings so we can continue with our struggle, what we do every day.”
Three federal government employees shared emotional stories to panels and the press on Wednesday (January 16), urging the U.S. Government to resume their payment of workers.
Faye Smith, a security guard at The Smithsonian National Museum, stood outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s office explaining tearfully to the media that she was close to eviction if she can’t pay her rent by the first of next month.
Audrey Murray, a janitor at the U.S. Department of State, spoke to a panel about not being able to pay her mortgage while Angela Vasquez, a janitor at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, urged the government to stop the shutdown as she didn’t have enough for food in the fridge for her children.