‘I can’t last a month or two without money’: Government shutdown puts essential government workers at financial risk

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — With legislators in gridlock, the stalemate over the government shutdown is putting essential government workers at financial risk.

TSA employees are pinching pennies while coming to work for free. TSA Local 618 Union President Renea McCammon said security wait times at the airport have yet to be impacted, but those employees living paycheck to paycheck can't wait any longer.

“I've got a dog in the background and two cats that I've rescued, that I'm going to make sure get fed before me, but I'm also gonna make sure that I get fed," McCammon said. "I can't last a month or two without money."

McCammon said the shutdown is putting pressure on families, especially those working off a single income. She said one of her colleagues has a spouse who is dying from cancer.

"I mean we are talking days, weeks, not even months at this point," McCammon said. "He’s had to take time off work, and the paperwork to have to voluntarily give him time off is not going to be able to be process because everyone is furloughed.”

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) workers are also being furloughed, and Local Union President Duncan Giles says it may impact tax return times. The IRS said it will recall workers to get it done, but Giles says that may not be possible.

“According to a lapse in funding appropriations, we are not sure if that's the legal thing where they can call them back and make them essential workers. There are lawsuits in the process about that," Giles said. “Even if everybody was called back tomorrow there would still be delays because you can't go from 0-60 in 1 second.”

Giles said IRS workers will feel it most this weekend when their first missing paychecks were scheduled to come. His fear is IRS new hires in November may not return to work at all when the government re-opens because they are fed up.

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