IRS employees hold rally, call for end to government shutdown

It is Day 20 of the government shutdown and several IRS employees are not very happy with President Donald Trump.

"Get off your high horse and do what you are supposed to do. If you are the President you are the President of the whole United States not the President of Trump," said Sharon Brown, who is an IRS Customer Service Representative.

Brown said she has been without work and pay since the end of December.

On Thursday morning, she was out on the sidewalk chanting with fellow co-workers. They want their voices to be heard and the shutdown to end.

"I'm livid. I'm mad but I'm also sad," she said.

Brown is one of 5,200 employees represented by the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU).

She is not expecting to get paid on Friday and this is leaving her with a tough decision to make.

"I don't know what I'm going to do. If this continues I'm going to have to two minimum wage jobs," Brown explained.

Brown said she has a small savings but knows that will not last long.

Lucia Lopez is in the same situation. She too has made some arrangements so she won't miss any bills in the coming weeks.

"I've been dipping into my savings but at the end of the month there will be nothing left," she said.

NTEU Rep. Jason Sisk says the shutdown can also impact taxpayers.

He says the IRS was in the process of hiring seasonal employees for the tax season and now there could be delays in training.

"So they won't be ready for the upcoming filing season. So that is going to delay tax refunds," he explained.

A representative from Congressman TJ Cox's office showed up to the rally.

He was not available for an interview, but he was talking with the employees outside.

Art Nolen, who is with the Veterans Outreach program out of Corcoran, made the trip up to Fresno to see if there were any veterans impacted by the shutdown.

He said they are doing this with the help of the City of Corcoran.

They are looking to help any Vet, who is a federal employee, that has been furloughed or being forced to work without pay.

"We have a lot of people that support the veterans," he said.

Nolen explained they will help as much as they can with food and money.

Any federal employee veteran in need of help can call 559-992-4037.
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