'We want our pay!' furloughed U.S. workers shout at White House




  • In US
  • 2019-01-11 00:09:59Z
  • By By Deborah Gembara
 

By Deborah Gembara

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of furloughed federal employees chanting "We want our pay!" marched on the White House on Thursday, the 20th day of a partial government shutdown over U.S. President Donald Trump's demand for border wall funding.

"Stop the shutdown!" protesters shouted in the bitter cold at the union-organized demonstration that started at the AFL-CIO headquarters and ended in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where they hoisted signs reading "Trump: End the Shutdown" and "Not a strike - we want to work."

Some 800,000 federal government employees have been ordered to stay home or work without pay during the shutdown brought on by a standoff between Trump and Democrats in Congress over Trump's demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall on the southern U.S. border with Mexico.

Trump, in a 2016 presidential campaign promise, repeatedly vowed that Mexico would pay for the wall. But he has said he will not sign any bill to reopen the government that does not provide wall funding.

Elaine Suriano, 62, a furloughed scientist with the Environmental Protection Agency, said she would have to dip into her retirement savings if the shutdown continued and robbed her of yet another paycheck.

"It's just clear that this administration doesn't understand normal people and real life or they wouldn't do this," Suriano said.

In its third week, the shutdown of about a quarter of the federal government is the second longest since the mid-1970s. Trump has said it could continue for months or even years.

Many furloughed federal workers have turned to online fundraising outlets such as GoFundMe.com to help cover expenses from food to utility bills.

Mathew Crichton, 32, a furloughed Peace Corps employee, said uncertainty over how long the shutdown will last made it impossible to budget for food, lodging and other needs.

"It could go on another day, and it could go on more weeks. It could go on for months," Crichton said. "It's really a shame that I'm ready to go to work. I'm able to go to work and I can't."

Protesters, many wearing neon green vests reading, "I am a worker. I demand a voice," on Thursday demanded the government be reopened, separate from any debate over wall funding.

Smaller protests across the country - from Palm Beach, Florida, to New York City - had similar demands. In Ogden, Utah, dozens of out-of-work federal employees gathered to urge an end to the shutdown, some holding signs reading "I am TSA. I am furloughed. I am not a pawn. I'm a voter" and "800,000 unemployed. Hurts our family and our economy."

Trump was not at the White House when the protesters arrived, having traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas.

The president has said he has the right to declare a national emergency if no deal with Congress can be reached on funding the border wall project.

(Additional reporting by Katharine Jackson in Washington and Barbara Goldberg in New York; editing by Bill Berkrot)

COMMENTS

More Related News

The Latest: White House reaches out to Kentucky students
The Latest: White House reaches out to Kentucky students

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) - The Latest on reaction from an encounter between white teenagers, Native American marchers and a black religious sect outside the Lincoln Memorial last week. (all times local):

Defying Pelosi, Trump proceeds with State of the Union plans
Defying Pelosi, Trump proceeds with State of the Union plans

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is moving forward with plans for President Donald Trump to deliver his State of the Union speech next week in front of a joint session of Congress - despite a letter from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requesting he delay it.

Trump seeks to move ahead with big speech despite Pelosi shutdown concerns
Trump seeks to move ahead with big speech despite Pelosi shutdown concerns
  • US
  • 2019-01-22 18:12:38Z

Trump's proposal on Saturday to relax his immigration policies for young immigrants known as "Dreamers" in exchange for funding for a southern border wall did not appear to be making much headway among Democrats who control the House of Representatives. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will vote on Trump's plan this week but there were doubts it would pass there. Leaders of the House of Representatives have already rejected it.

Trump still plans to deliver Jan. 29 State of the Union address: official
Trump still plans to deliver Jan. 29 State of the Union address: official
  • US
  • 2019-01-22 17:54:09Z

U.S. President Donald Trump still plans to deliver his annual State of the Union address from the Capitol later this month as scheduled, a Trump administration official said on Tuesday as the federal government shutdown stretched into its second month. The White House has sent a request to the House of Representatives' sergeant at arms seeking a "walk-through" for the Jan. 29 speech, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week called on Trump to reconsider delivering the president's annual address before a gathering of both chambers of Congress and other dignitaries given that about one-quarter of the U.S. government has been...

Trump Tweaks Border Stance in Bid to Shift Shutdown Blame
Trump Tweaks Border Stance in Bid to Shift Shutdown Blame

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the proposal on Saturday, hours before Trump outlined it in a White House speech to the nation. Trump said he would extend protections for three years for so-called Dreamers -- young people bought to the country illegally as children --and make other concessions in exchange for his demanded $5.7 billion toward a border wall. White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney mused to reporters that he is "very curious" to see how Democrats explain a "no" vote on Trump's plan under those circumstances.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.