Texas federal workers protest: Temporary reopen deal is not enough

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The longest government shutdown in U.S. history is over, for now.

President Trump announced a deal to fund the government through February 15, but some federal workers in Texas aren’t breathing a sigh of relief just yet.

Johnson Space Center has been closed to the public for 34 days. the only office open involves the International Space Station and the staff is working without pay. The rest furloughed. 

Some made their way to a rally today outside the Leland Federal Building.
“We need to get paid. We need to get paid.”

Vanessa Jordan, furloughed NASA employee: “I have felt it after the first paycheck. I’m on my second loan, just to tread water to pay my bills. I don’t want to lose my house. It took me all year to rebuild from Harvey.”

Mid rally, word came that the shutdown would end for 3 weeks to allow for negotiations on a border wall.

Carolyn Fritz, Johnson Space Center employee: “Giving us a temporary solution is not really beneficial to us. Sure they’ll open it long enough to pay us our back pay but then we’re still dealing with uncertainties going forward.”

There was a time when government work was considered stable, but no longer.

Across the street from the space center a road construction contractor gives his take on the shutdown. “I really think that’s just people grown up that are being childish. There’s other ways to handle things.”

The question is, where will the government be in 3 weeks. This Johnson Space Center contractor isn’t optimistic. He says: “Back to where we are now.”

The President says, if no deal is reached by February 15 he’ll either shut down the government again, or consider a national emergency declaration.

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