Federal workers impacted by government shutdown to hold rally in Loop

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Local federal workers impacted by the shutdown will hold a rally at Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago at noon Thursday.

Members of the American Federation of Government Employees District 7, which represents federal employees in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin will be joined other unions and community groups.

"Federal workers should not have to worry about how they will pay their bills. The Public should not have to worry whether they will be able rely on everything from food inspection, a clean environment, well guarded prisons, safe airports, stable housing, secure borders, SNAP benefits, and more. We need the Senate and White House to pass a budget," AFGE District 7 National Vice-President Dorothy James said in a statement. "Federal workers and the services they provide should not be held hostage to a border wall. Until a budget is passed we will continue to rally, call our legislators, speak out, and mobilize the public to oppose this unnecessary and disastrous shutdown."

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As lawmakers and President Donald Trump spar over funding for his border wall, the prospect of a partial government shutdown is on the horizon.

There are around 45,000 federal employees in the Chicago area. Some of them, including Cynthia Colquitt, an EPA worker here in Chicago living paycheck-to-paycheck.

The single mom received a partial paycheck this week, but her next pay period is in limbo.

"I am trying to take it one day at a time and just figure it out," Colquitt said. "I can't really understand the devil why they're doing it and why it is still ongoing, but I just know it's affecting normal people."

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Over the weekend the government was partially shut down after lawmakers could not reach an agreement about funding for President Donald Trump's proposed border wall.

Local farmers are also taking a hit. Business is at a standstill for many because USDA offices are not open to provide export information.
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