State House News Service


With Shutdown Averted Again, Largest Federal Union Looks for 'Long-Term Solution'


AFGE says Congress and the Administration must stop using shutdowns as a 'bargaining chip' and find a way to 'stop kicking the can down the road'

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thanks to a last-minute agreement between Congress and the White House, federal employees nationwide will enjoy the holidays without worrying about not working and not being paid.

A mere two weeks after the threat of a shutdown was averted, Congressional leaders in Washington brokered a deal that will allow the government to remain open – keeping all government services free of interruption, and saving 850,000 public servants from being told they are not allowed to work.

In response, the American Federation of Government Employees – which represents 700,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia – National President J. David Cox Sr. issued the following statement:

"A government shutdown is something we always work hard to prevent, and we're especially happy this was averted so close the holidays. Federal working people show up to their job every day to serve the American people, and the threat of being sent home – or being told they must work without pay – is not something they should have to endure.

"It's irresponsible to the public servants who protect our borders, inspect our food, process benefits for the elderly, disabled, and veterans, and safeguard our skies that Congress continues to play games with their livelihoods. The men and women of Congress were elected to help run our country, not find ways to politicize the 2.1 million federal workers who keep our country running. These civil servants work for the American taxpayer, and using their jobs and pay to further a political agenda is disgraceful.

"Majority of our members live paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford the cost of a government shutdown. Their livelihoods are not a bargaining chip for Congress to use as they see fit. Federal working people do their jobs free of political influence, and need a long-term solution to ensuring they can continue showing up to do the job they were hired to do. For years we've seen leaders on Capitol Hill find short-term solutions, but we must stop kicking the can down the road.

"This month the federal workforce has had to show up to work every day with the cloud of a shutdown looming over their heads. Wondering when or if they will get paid, and how they will pay their bills during a prolonged shutdown, is a distraction they don't need. And quite frankly, it's one we as a nation cannot afford.

"Now that we have a solution in place for longer than two weeks, it's our sincere hope and belief that Congress can work together to find a way to fund the government and allow the working people who run it to focus on providing the best services they can to the American public."


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SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees

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