Tensions Reach Boiling Point As Government Shutdown Heads Into Weekend
WASHINGTON (WJZ) — President Obama wants a temporary bill on his desk with no strings attached. That’s the message he is sending to House Republicans, as the partial government shutdown heads into the weekend.
Linh Bui has reaction from local leaders and people affected by the shutdown.
The outrage is building. There was a huge demonstration on Capitol Hill Friday. People saying enough is enough.
On a hot October day in Washington, tensions reach a boiling point. Friday, hundreds rallied on Capitol Hill then marched across the Capitol grounds.
“I’m feeling upset now because it affects all of us all around the country. This government shutdown is not a Washington, D.C. thing, it’s a country thing,” said Towanna Mitchell, American Federation of Government Employees.
Furloughed federal employees can’t go to work, so they’ve been standing outside the Senate instead.
“You have your bills already stacking up on your desk and you have no way of paying them. It gets very scary, very quickly,” said Jennifer Strotman, furloughed federal worker.
They want legislators to pass the so-called “clean continuing resolution” to end the shutdown.
“They’re arguing about petty things. Again, there’s no reason not to just go ahead and pass it,” said Erin Bilyeu, furloughed federal worker.
Maryland lawmakers say they are equally frustrated with the government shutdown, but they just don’t know when it will end.
“If Speaker Boehner would allow a vote on the House floor, we’re convinced the votes are there to get government open and sit down and negotiate,” said Senator Ben Cardin, (D) Maryland.
Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger has sponsored a bill to give retroactive pay to furloughed workers.
“So at least that will give some sense of security to these people who have been, basically laid off or furloughed. So they will get their backpay once this is all resolved,” he said.
But frustrated Americans say they want it resolved–now.
“Let the government go back to work. Stop the government shutdown,” Mitchell said.
As long as the government remains shut down, expect to see more protests and rallies.
A new crisis is just around the corner. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says if the nation’s debt limit isn’t raised by Oct. 17, the country could head back into a recession similar to the one in 2008.
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