By Ava-joye Burnett

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The clock keeps ticking without a deal to end the government shutdown.

Local federal workers sat down with a member of Congress Monday and told him they’re feeling the financial consequences.

There are thousands of federal workers here in Maryland, and some have been furloughed or even forced to work without pay. Some of them expressed their financial struggles to a sitting Senator on Monday.

While the government shutdown sneaks into a third week, over the state line in Maryland, federal workers are feeling the pinch.

“Frustrated,” federal worker Ottis Johnson said. “Very frustrated.”

On Monday, Democratic Senator Chris Ban Hollen met with federal workers who’ve been impacted.

Johnson, who is from Baltimore, is going into week three of a furlough.

“We’re okay,” he said. “I think we’ll be able to go another two weeks at the most, but then, we’ll have to start calling family and calling more creditors saying we can’t make this payment.

Repeating the Democratic message, Sen. Van Hollen blamed the president for the shutdown.

“The government shutdown is a slap in the face to the country, and to hard-working federal employees,” Sen. Van Hollen said.

Maryland has more than 140,000 federal workers, the fifth largest contingency in the country.

Howard County officials say there are plans to help workers who’ve been affected.

“The average water bill here in Howard County is about $150. Once you get to about $250, you’re subject to being turned off, and so we wanted to suspend that so people aren’t afraid they’re not even going to have water when they are dealing with this shutdown,” Howard County Executive Calvin Ball said.

While Democratic leaders and the White House still can’t reach an agreement, the president has gotten some support from border patrol workers who agree with the shutdown.

“I have never had so much support as I have in the last week,” President Donald Trump said during a press conference last week.

Back here in Maryland, the head of the union that represents TSA agents said his members just want to get paid.

“They’re being devastated by the shutdown, said Eric Bunn, with the American Federation of Government Employees. “The ability to, you know, what are you going to do coming out of Christmas to support your family. How you going to pay your mortgage, take care of your kids? When you going to get paid?”

In total, about 800,000 federal workers have been impacted in some shape or form by this shutdown.

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Ava-joye Burnett


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