Just hours after the clock struck midnight ushering in the first government shutdown in 17 years, thousands of federal employees are being sent home without pay.
Some 800,000 employees are being furloughed for however long the shutdown lasts, while skeleton staffs of “essential” federal workers will stay on the clock — also without pay.
Many feds are clearly discouraged by the uncertainty and have taken to social media to vent their frustrations.
“Can’t do much but sit and wait,” commenter Lillian Villanueva wrote on Federal News Radio’s Facebook page. “Hoping we’ll be able to pay our bills.”
Congress is a frequent target of feds’ exasperation.
“If I’m not working I don’t get paid,” commenter Lynne Bates wrote. “Seems to me (it’s) only fair — Congress you are not working and/or doing your job — time to not get paid either! Cough up 20 percent of your salary for the first round of furloughs.”
In a message to federal employees sent early Tuesday morning, President Barack Obama thanked federal employees for their service and decried the political climate that has treated them “like a punching bag.”
“You have endured three years of a federal pay freeze, harmful sequester cuts, and now, a shutdown of our government,” Obama said. “And yet, you persevere, continuing to serve the American people with passion, professionalism and skill.”
Let us know how you feel. Comment on this story here or drop us a note on our Facebook page or via Twitter. If you’d like to weigh in but wish to keep your name/agency anonymous, email Web Editor Julia Ziegler. 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.
We want to hear from feds from all walks of life, GS levels and parts of the country — after all, some 85 percent of federal employees live outside the D.C. area.
How is the shutdown impacting you and how do you feel about it?