Federal workers from across North Texas joined Transportation Security Officers to rally against the partial government shutdown at DFW International Airport.
Supporters said they want the public to understand how their families are being impacted.
“You provide a service to this country and you’re not getting a paycheck for it,” said federal prison guard Kyle Coats. “So, I’m absolutely angry.”
Coats said he finished an overnight shift at a prison in Seagoville at 8 a.m. then came to the rally. He said his last paycheck was issued December 28th. He’s tapped into savings to support his family, but said the money will run out in a week.
“Some nights you can’t sleep because you’re worried, how long is this going to go on? What am I going to lose if this goes on? I have a house payment, I pay child support,” Coats said.
Coats continues to report to work without receiving a paycheck. He said he voted for President Trump and supports the construction of a border wall along the U.S./Mexican border. Still, he wants lawmakers to find another way to get it done and end the shutdown.
“Everyone has a political opinion, but shutdowns are bad for everybody,” said Sarah Frey, who has been on furlough from her job at the EPA since December 28th. “Conservative Republican or liberal Democrat, shutdowns are bad for everyone.”
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Frey said she and her husband just bought their first home last summer. Their young daughter is 22 months old and Frey said each day of the shutdown brings growing anxiety.
“I was able to pay the mortgage for January because we try to stay a little bit ahead,” Frey said. “February will probably be the last one I can afford.”
“I’m a chemist and a biologist and here I am, out here picketing as opposed to protecting air and water,” said fellow EPA employee Rita Ware. “We need to get to work.”
Ware’s last paycheck came on Friday.
“I am supporting a disabled son, he lives in a facility and you know that’s not chump change,” Ware explained.
Some workers, like TSO and federal prison guards, said they are working without pay while others are furloughed and waiting out the shutdown at home.
The shutdown continued into its 26th day on Wednesday, breaking a record. The second longest shutdown was 21 days during the Clinton presidency.