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UPDATED OCT. 16, AT 2:47 P.M. WITH NEW RESPONSES, PHOTOS AND AUDIO COMMENTS.
Federal News Radio invited federal employees to share their thoughts on Congress, the shutdown and what you plan to do while you’re furloughed via Facebook, Twitter, email or comments on our Shutdown soundoff page.
Below you will find reader responses with comments from Facebook in gray, Twitter in red, email in blue and story comments in black. We will be updating this page daily.
We’re also accepting your shutdown photos from across the country (and around the world)! Send us an email. Be sure to include the photographer’s name so that we can give proper photo attribution. We will be adding new photos to the gallery every day.
You can also call Federal News Radio’s Comment Line at (202) 274-4806, to leave an audio response. These messages may be used on the radio as part of Federal News Radio’s continuing shutdown coverage.
And now, here are your comments:
I feel like I’m going insane.
Oct. 14 at 12:53 p.m. – Via Facebook
Watching the media now I’m wondering how long it will be before they begin to castigate the federal employee again, it won’t be long.
My frustration is with the lack of any attempt by the president and congress to actually work together on this.
Oct. 11 at 10:37 p.m. – Via Email
We have a cafeteria in my building, I am thinking of all the food that was ordered before the shut down (no matter how small the quantity) – these I assume will have to be tossed. I assume the cafeteria gets weekly supply from a company or companies – these will be on hold – someone is not getting paid. The cafeteria workers, the janitorial staffs and other contractors, how are they coping?
I have been walking a lot and this picture was taking around the Laurel Lakes in Laurel – beautiful sunset.
Today, I am going to volunteer at an assisted living facility. Keeping myself and mind occupied!
Oct. 11 at 8:04 a.m. – Via Email
Now I can’t even apply for unemployment because I left employment by choice. To make matters even worst I relocated from state to another state at my own expense for job.
STOP PLAYING POLITICS WITH OTHER PEOPLES LIFE. EVERYONE DOESN’T HAVE MASSIVE SAVINGS TO LIVE OFF!!!!
Oct. 10 at 12:29 p.m. – Via Email
Remember this. Your bank accounts are tied into the stock market FDIC and that will plummet. Your credit cards APR will go up double the rate it is now. Imagine paying 50% APR versus 28% or less you enjoy today. Your mortgages too. Your savings interest rate will zero out. Please don’t default congress. Stop squabbling over obamacare and clean up your mess.
Oct. 10 at 11:48 a.m. – Via Facebook
I do NOT know when I will get paid but I do know I have bills to pay; how am I going to do that if I don’t have a check, not sure about the rest of you but unfortunately its paycheck to paycheck in my household we are retired military (which by the way is not what it was promised) and both federal employees.
There is no guidance out there every agency is doing their own thing the things that are truly shutdown are amazing and a bit of a rampage from one side —- if you are going to shut us down then do it don’t just do a little.
YEAH I am venting I am annoyed and getting more and more so every day that goes by with this stalemate its ABSURD!!!!
Finally not a single one of them should ever hold a public office ever again!!!
Sincerely thanks for nothing
Oct. 7 at 6:51 p.m. – Via Email
This makes no sense to me that the Federal Government is willing to shut down the government and then always vote to backpay those who are not working. It is bad enought that there are added costs to shut down, and bring back up the government, but there is also the cost of paying salaries for no work. How can this possibly make sense to Congress? Why don’t they just continue their debates while folks are working for their pay?
Let folks get back to work and stop wasting my tax dollars!
Oct. 7 at 4:46 p.m. – Via Email
Thanks for nothing!
Oct. 7 at 3:05 p.m. – Via Email
How nice they will pay back furloughed government employees after they lose their credit ratings, homes and other assets. What about the contractors, and businesses that have had to cut back and lay off employees.
Congress should not be allowed to be paid, nor have any monies from their investments. All monies should be placed in a fund to pay those they hurt. Items to be voted on should not be allowed to be attached to any other item. Term Limits must be begun and no special treatment, such as better insurance, benefits etc. than any other federal employee.
Oct. 7 at 7:29 a.m. – Via Email
Members of Congress have not only turned their backs on the citizens of America but are now doing harm to those who pay their salaries. Congress calls Social Security an entitlement? What I and the rest of this country are entitled to is a working, functioning Government. What happened to “a government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish…? Congress hasn’t perished, they’ve disappeared.
Oct. 4 at 9:40 a.m. – Via Email
– “A house divided cannot stand.” – Abraham Lincoln 16 Jun 1858 – and he went to war to preserve a united nation.
– “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana 16 December 1863
– The first line of the Constitution states “We the people of the United States…”. It does not say “We the party..”
Oct. 4 at 8:22 a.m. – Via Email
Before becoming a gov’t employee I was a school teacher and I truly loved my job and before I could get tenure, I was laid off. I lost everything, my bills piled up, my car was almost repossessed and I nearly got evicted out of my apt. I felt the best and the safest choice was to take a job with the federal gov’t.
Within 2 years I got out of debt, aside from my student loan and I got my life back on track. And now two furloughs within a year and I honestly don’t know how I’m going to pay my bills in the coming months. I’m scared I may lose everything all over again. I’ve never been fired from a job or had any disciplinary problems, but the economy and congress don’t care about that. I suffer regardless of how hard I work. I went to college, I have three college degrees, one of them is a Master’s degree. I finally bought a vehicle that I truly love, I’m trying to advance in my career, but congress and this economy doesn’t care.
I’m a black female who has never been on public assistance, both of my parents are retired, I went to college to better myself. I never imagined all the days I was writing research papers, carrying my heavy back pack across my college campus, that I would do all of that hard work, so congress could snatch it all away, whenever they felt like it. As a young American I cannot buy a home and settle in and contribute to the economy. It saddens me because I want to be a productive citizen, I want to contribute and enjoy the liberties that so many before me, died for.
I would like my email entry to be anonymous, I hope this gives you a glimpse of how the shutdown has affected me.
Oct. 4 at 7:10 a.m. – Via Email
The devastation my family & I went through
After Superstorm Sandy forced my decision to retire early. Also the fact that it appeared with no cola raises for three years straight that congress was trying to balance things on the backs of ONLY the federal employee.
So I retired and am thankful I missed the furlough and now the new government shutdown (furlough) imposed on my peers in DoD that I left behind. I am very grateful as my pension payments on 1st of the month are not affected.
I am furious at what congress is doing to the federal employees. I am furious at the inefficiencies of congress.
This is so, so wrong.
A new law needs to be put in place that Congress also should not get paid during any shutdown. Things must change!
Sequestration is the big problem and for a few years they have just kicked the problem further into the future and have not addressed and resolved it. The time is now.
Oct. 4 at 6:34 a.m. – Via Email
It’s worrisome that federal agencies have furloughed people like aviation safety inspectors and medical clinics on federal sites. Safety personnel would seem to be logically the last people you would furlough. Oh well, I guess the thinking of those in charge is we’ll just ramp up the printing presses at the Treasury and print some more funny money backed by more paper when it’s over. I would imagine they store these bonds at Fort Knox. I hope they don’t cut the fire insurance there too!
Oct. 4 at 5:55 a.m. – Via Email
The incident that happened today I hope no one died because Im sure its related. If not today are you waiting on that poor government worker to commit suicide because they are fed up.DO you want that on your HEAD? It probably would not bother you at all since you don”t seem to think what you are doing to millions of people, and I don;t have to tell you that since they are.
I ADVISE YOU TO STEP DOWN RIGHT NOW!!!”
Oct. 3 at 5:19 p.m. – Via Email
I’m appalled at the immaturity MY government is displaying to the American people and the world! The Republicans, Democrats, and YOU should all be ashamed of yourselves. You were elected to work together and come to reasonable consensus on establishing the freedoms and liberties described in the United States Constitution! Our founding fathers worked hard to free us from the tyranny of the English Monarchy and now we appear to be right back where we started. America was established on God’s laws and the Bible to enable its people to have freedom FROM government intervention. Now it appears we, the American People, (not you or congress) are being held “hostage.” From where I see it, YOU are the one holding the process “hostage” when you say you will not negotiate “Obama Care!” This law was passed with no time for lawmakers to fully read and understand it and then you have over-stepped your authority by picking and choosing how it is implemented?! It’s not the Republicans who are keeping negotiations from happening, it’s the Presidency! In the meantime, all I hear in the news is how 15% of the population NEEDS this healthcare. No one is talking about the 85% of us who will pay for it through raised taxes! Most of that 15% don’t want the health insurance because they can’t pay for it. Additionally, this minority group also do not work or pay taxes to begin with. I though Americans were free to choose? This is another gross example of how you and the Democrats want to take hard-working Americans’ money and distribute it to those who don’t work or pay taxes! In the meantime, over 800,000 federal employees (like me) are sitting at home on furlough without getting paid because the Government hasn’t passed a budget on-time since you took office! I would be fired for such incompetence! Since we are the tax payers to begin with, how do you intend to pay for your socialist agenda and healthcare? Bottom line, I don’t blame the Republican, Democrats, or even you for this debacle you brought on; I blame the American voters! They should have fired ALL of you (President and Congress) during the last election. My hope and prayer is that they remember to do that starting in the upcoming election in November! Please stop the bickering and get the job done so we can get back to work and earn our paychecks to pay our bills!
A frustrated and angry Government Employee!
Oct. 3 – Via Email
My job and the job of my cohorts is to ensure the safety of aviation. For the first time in 40 years of flying, I do not want any of my family members to fly on a commercial airplane because with the furlough, there is no oversight of these commercial operators.
People forget there is more to the FAA than Air Traffic Controllers. The FAA not only employs skilled aviation professionals who inspect airplanes and the pilots who fly these airplanes, but the FAA employs technicians who repair the radars the controllers rely on, they repair vital navigation systems and other highly advanced electronics. Without these aviation safety professionals the safety of the aviation system suffers.
I have watched the politics and am horrified that people elected to serve their district/state and the country, have put self-interests and the interests of a few wealthy individuals ahead of what is right for this country.
This government shut down is not about money or the debt or the size of government. It is about POWER. Pure and simple. POWER.
I am a registered Republican. Oops! I meant I was. Out of disgust for the antics of this party, I have changed party affiliations to that of Independent. I cannot tolerate what has happened because 40 people in this party have decided serving Grover Norquist is more important than serving the people and this country.
As an ASI, I have been told I still need to follow agency guidelines for any employment outside of the FAA, even though I am furloughed. This makes it tough for me and my family. I have not been given any guidance on filing for unemployment, nor what resources are available to me and my family while I am furloughed. Heck, we were not even given the code for our agency if I file for unemployment.
My pay has been frozen, my health insurances has gone up, and because I am in a crappy pay system called core comp I do not get step increases. I cannot leave the government employment because of my age and cannot go back to industry.
I am probably better off than many of my cohorts because I saw this train wreck coming. But my savings is disappearing and I have been working long hours for reduced pay. My pay in effect has been cut and being furlough hurts. Hurts a lot,
But as I look at the root cause of why we are at a government shut down I find the root cause is us, the people. We elected these people in congress. We the people screwed up. Instead of listening, reading, and looking up facts and figures for ourselves, we have watched Dancing with the Stars, read Facebook, and believed every word Fox News has said about the Democrats. We the people don’t vote, and could care less about politics. We whine about the latest iPhone not working right but say nothing about our government not working right.
During the great depression in the 1930’s the arguments wet “government is too big”, and the struggle was with wealthy people who did not want to be taxed. Same issues today only different year and people not being lead by strong leaders.
Until people get involved and understand the real issues nothing will change.
Oct. 3 – Via Email
Is anybody awake up there?
I have an interview with a private firm next week. Some say it would be throwing away 25 years of service but I say it would be improving my self-respect and dignity on which I cannot put a price.
Oct. 2 – Via Email
The difference this time around for me is my tolerance for it. During my career in law enforcement I have been shot at, slapped, punched , kicked, spit upon and called every name in the book, and while its not pleasant to experience these things, I expect it to a certain degree. What I don’t expect is that politicians, who stood and took the same oath that I did, can barely talk the talk, much less walk the walk, in carrying out the duties that each pledged they would come to Washington to fulfill, the President included.
I can only imagine how long ago I would have either been reprimanded or removed from my job, had I failed to carry out the duties that I had been appointed to do, had I behaved in a manner consistent with that of the Congress or the President. I would have faced an OPR inquiry and been summarily dismissed for dereliction of duty.
It is hard to come in to work each day knowing that there are different sets of rules applied to members of Congress and the President, than rank and file Federal employees, and that they can accomplish virtually nothing, except for gridlock, and continue to be paid, enjoying attractive pensions and lifetime health benefits after just one term in their respective offices.
Not much else to say other than completely disgusted …
Oct. 1 – Via Email
I really can’t express a political opinion publicaly, but I’d rather be furloughed than have the Senate give in to the House of Representatives. Healthcare Reform is law – deal with it. It has been passed, signed, and withstood a Court challenge. They say opinion polls want it overturned. I don’t think people really understand the provisions of the law – they understand what has been fed to them in the media. I think people will have a different opinion if they take the time to learn about the law and what it really means. The House has been so obsessed with making the President look bad they just look like whiney kids who are not getting their way. They want to take their baseball and gloves and sit in their house and not let anybody play. My message to the house is this – Get over yourselves and grow up – if you don’t like parts of the law, work on those, but don’t shut the whole country down because you don’t like the President.
Oct. 1 at 4:05 p.m. – Via Email
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