'Can't pay babysitters, can't make mortgage payments': Fresno federal workers talk about their plight

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Hundreds of furloughed IRS workers in Fresno have been ordered back on the job, but without pay.

Some of them met and told two Valley Democratic Congressmen on Friday this situation can't continue.

"All of us are on duty doing our job and not getting paid while we do it," said food safety inspector Meredith Dutton.

"They don't know when they are going to get a paycheck, and the bills are due. We have a lot of selfless staff that go into work every day and put their safety on the line dealing with these violent offenders and they don't know when they are going to get paid. They can't pay their babysitters, they can't make their mortgage payments and coming up soon, they won't be able to put gas in their cars to get to work," said prison correctional officer Aaron Mcglothin.

"Some of them are requesting hardship because they don't have gas to get to work, some of them work an hour away, and there's a lot of scenarios, there's a lot of single parents," said IRS worker Jason Sisk.

The meeting between the federal workers and the Congressmen was held in the Subway restaurant on the main floor of a downtown building where more than 1,000 IRS employees work.

Since the shutdown, this restaurant and others in the building say business is down.

Congressman T.J. Cox introduced legislation to loan money to federal employees until their pay is restored.

"We can't pay employees, but there's nothing that says we can't lend them money," he said.

Congressman Jim Costa believes the pressure is mounting on the Senate to consider House bills ending the shutdown.

"27 days... this shutdown is irresponsible, and we are going to get back next week. We have passed half a dozen bills to reopen government and we are going to do the same thing next week," he said.

Costa believes it won't be long until there are enough votes in the House and Senate to pass the bills and to override a possible presidential veto.

While Costa and Cox see the shutdown over a border wall as a distraction from the President's political problems, Fresno County Republican Party Chairman Fred Vanderhoof sees it differently.

"Those who voted for Trump, this is a very important issue for the country to protect our safety and I think the people across this nation are still supporting him," he said.
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