- Posted October 10, 2013 by
Mount Prospect, Illinois
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Shutdown over: What next?
A message to Congress from a "nonessential" employee
Because you have not done your job, I (as a federal employee) am now spending as little money as possible and will be cutting more spending each week as this continues. I owe that to my family to guard against the prospect of an extended shutdown or going back to work to only have another shutdown arise due to the "short-term" measures and fixes that seem to be the best that this Congress can offer. There will no longer be any weekend trips to local tourist spots, no Christmas vacation for me and my two daughters to Disney that they have been looking forward to for a year, no eating out at restaurants, and no trips for my daughters to our local ice cream stand to reward good behavior and successes at school. Unfortunately, there are numerous bills that are still due and contracts for things like cable and cellphone services that cannot be easily cancelled despite the fact that I am not receiving my paycheck.
Government employees have already been hit hard by the reduced pay associated with last year's sequester. We are facing increased health care costs, have had no raises for the past few years, and now are not getting paid at all due to this ridiculous shutdown. Despite all these financial challenges, the majority of Federal Employees don't see their work as a paycheck, but as a service to the American people. I don't want to be sitting at home, when I can be earning a living by serving my fellow Americans. While I am not a veteran for whom many stories are being reported, I help Americans by working for Clean Water at the Environmental Protection Agency. I don't think this work is "nonessential." My work is necessary to ensure adequate protections for human health and the environment, and at EPA, we also provide funding for our State partners to supplement our work to provide these critical protections. Soon, these important state efforts will be grinding to a halt as well.
This is just one way that the government shutdown is affecting Americans. There are many more impacts like the stories you see on the news. I am sorry for all Americans that the important services upon which we all depend are unable to be provided.
Congress, are you listening? Put the government back to work! Raise the debt ceiling! Pass a budget for the entire fiscal year! Enough is enough!
These are the faces of my kids, to whom your inaction is hurting!