Over the course of the government shutdown from December 2018 to January 2019, federal employees in Arizona’s First Congressional District wrote and called my office to share their stories about how the shutdown had been impacting their lives. These hardworking Arizonans, and everyone who had been furloughed or was working without a paycheck during the shutdown, did not deserve this. I will share their stories here, on my website, and have shared them with my colleagues in the House of Representatives.
To protect their privacy, I have removed their names from the correspondence. I encourage anyone with who wishes to share their story to reach out to me here.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife:
“I am concerned about the continued partisan politics that is keeping the government shutdown unresolved. As a federal employee, I have been out of work now for 19 days. The stress of not knowing when, or if, I will be paid is affecting all aspects of my life. I've had to cancel trips, cancel training opportunities, and use my savings to stay afloat.”
U.S. Forest Service:
“My husband and I are both USDA Forest Service employees, working in Northeastern Arizona. NEXT MONDAY WE WILL BE MISSING 2 PAYCHECK DEPOSITS. We have our household bills, plus tuition and rent in Phoenix to pay. The furlough is about to cause us undue hardship, and we would like to get back to work serving our country. Not only are we impacted, but small rural communities, where Forest Service employees are a large percent of the community, will be impacted.”
National Park Service:
“I am part of the essential NPS crew that has to clean visitor restroom facilities and plow snow during storms. It was very dangerous plowing on Monday because there were many more visitors than usual driving in the Park because there are no entrance fees being collected. Frankly it was dangerous with so many slide offs and folks unfamiliar with driving on snow and ice, I felt uncomfortable doing my duty and was quite relieved that I was not involved in an accident which could have jeopardized my job and career.”
Bureau of Prisons:
“My shut down experience is having to pull a loan out of my retirement to prepare to cover the needs for my family: food, electric, cell service, heat, water, auto/health insurance. I am a single mother with adult children in college (one away and one at home). This may seem like no big deal to the average person. However, the looming question is if and when I'm going to get another paycheck after the 28th. How long is this going to last?”