On Wednesday, the US government urged President Donald Trump and Congress to "stop playing with their lives", warning that thousands of people out of work due to the partial closure of governments have to fight to unite both ends
Entering its third week, the "shutdown" affects about 800,000 civil servants, in fact on unpaid leave. They are preparing for their first missing paycheck – a particularly complicated situation especially for lower wages.
Donald Trump and the Democrats clash around $ 5.7 billion that the president of the United States has asked to build a wall on the border with Mexico. In the absence of an agreement on the budget, the federal employees qualified as "non-essential" are therefore hostages of the political negotiations for the time being stalled.
Since the start of the "shutdown" of December 22, they have been sent home or are working without insurance to be paid early.
Strictly speaking, union representatives declared Wednesday the Capitol Hill financial difficulties of many of their colleagues, unable to cope with the costs of living, to repay their credits or pay bills.
"Many of our workers are single mothers who are forced to work without receiving pay, but still have to pay for childcare and other expenses, such as gas to go to work," said Eric Young. union representative of employees of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, who are the officers of the lowest order forces in the country.
Security is also a source of growing concern, he said during the event, which brought together twenty federal workers and Democratic leaders from the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
"This underfunding, this lack of staff is so terrible that secretaries, cooks and teachers fill the gap between absent agents every day," added Young.
"If something happens to one of our agents (…), you will have blood on your hands," he said. "Stop playing with our lives".
– "Collateral damages"
Many federal workers live from day to day but are embarrassed to admit it, said Holly Salamido, an official of the American Federation of Governmental Employees (AFGE).
They may no longer be able to pay for their cars, have their children refused asylum or even be expelled from their homes.
"The repercussions of this + shutdown + are real and we need Congress to reopen the government immediately," said Holly Salamido.
According to Steve Reaves, an American Army veteran working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), who has been at the forefront of recent hurricanes and fires in California in recent months, employees are now without many victims need their help.
For property damage, insurance claims … "The Americans ask + where is the Fema +?", He reports.
"The federal employees are absolutely, completely and unconditionally opposed to the + shutdown + of this government," said J. David Cox, president of AFGE, whose members earn about $ 500 a week and for whom a pay delay may be dramatic according to him. "We do not want to be collateral damage".
Donald Trump claims to have the support of many civil servants. "Many people say, it's very difficult for me, it's very difficult for my family, but Mr. President, you're doing the right thing," he said.
In a solemn speech of the Oval Office on Tuesday, the President used a dramatic tone to try to rally the Americans at any cost for his flagship security project – without, however, directly mentioning the federal workers concerned.