It’s been more than two weeks since the partial government shutdown began. Federal employees, contractors, spouses and lawmakers are growing increasingly frustrated by the delayed pay and lost work, with many airing their grievances on social media.
The hashtag #shutdownstories has made waves since Sunday, when television and comic book writer Amanda Deibert asked those affected by the shutdown to share their experiences on Twitter:
If you are currently working without pay during the shutdown, or are furloughed and willing to share please comment and let people know what you do. I think it is important for everyone to understand the families and services that are currently impacted. It is VAST.
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— Amanda Deibert🏳️🌈 (@amandadeibert) January 6, 2019
The tweet generated about 280 responses and more than 2,000 retweets as of Tuesday morning, including the following:
A Houston-based NASA systems engineer:
NASA civil servant here and furloughed, my human exploration mission design team is shutdown. Only folks supporting missions in flight like ISS are working (without pay of course)
— Nujoud Merancy (@nujoud) January 6, 2019
This Agriculture Department ecologist from State College, Pennsylvania:
I’m an agricultural scientist working to feed nine billion people without destroying the environment. I am missing deadlines and important meetings, and losing experimental results.
— Sarah Goslee (@phiala) January 6, 2019
A D.C. Superior Court attorney working without pay:
I’m an attorney for DC Superior Court. I process pleadings so judges understand what the parties are asking for. I educate the public about my esoteric area of law so they understand what the heck happens in our court. I’m doing this without pay.
— Krista Robertson (@kayenare) January 8, 2019
A USDA technician from Bryan, Texas:
I’m a tech with the USDA. We’re not allowed in our gov’t greenhouses to water our plants. 3 months of growth lost; we don’t have enough time to replant and get them to seed by planting time in March. It will lose us a year in the long run. #ShutdownStories
— Julie McCollum (@aggiebell90) December 31, 2018
An architect in North Carolina:
Update: we’ve got these medications covered through next month, but now the discussion is ‘which bills can wait’, we are now too far into the week for the next paycheck to arrive on time, even if the government were to reopen immediately and backpay assured. https://t.co/nekVEyiOxX
— R Long (@rustylong) January 7, 2019
This Coast Guard spouse from Cape May, New Jersey:
My husband is active duty USCG. So are the 300+ other men and women on this base. They continue to work, keep this country safe, with no guaranteed pay on 1/15/19. We are the casualty of a political showdown.
— JessManfre (@JessicaManfre) January 7, 2019
This contractor from Arlington, Virginia, who works on programs for diplomats:
Just got a notice that I am now laid off by my small government contracting company, no back pay.. I create e-learning and apps for diplomats. I loved my job. My diplomat husband is essential with no pay, we have a mortgage and a kid with braces. Please end this. #ShutdownStories
— Sunny Blaylock (@MalaysiaSunny) January 6, 2019
Scientists who had to miss the 233rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society this week due to the shutdown:
— Kevin Marvel (@kevinbmarvel) January 7, 2019
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) also addressed the shutdown at airports in their respective homestates, where TSA workers have been expected to show up for duty without pay.
On the 18th day of the federal #shutdown, @NitaLowey and @GeorgeLatimerCE discuss the impact on employees at the Westcheater County Airport and across the country. @FiOS1NewsLHV pic.twitter.com/lBhilt8waU
— Jonathan Gordon (@JGordonFiOS1) January 8, 2019
Happening Now: @SenatorDurbin is at @fly2ohare speaking out in support of AFGE Local 777 @TSA federal employees still working without pay through the #TrumpShutdown. @AFGENational pic.twitter.com/fqGdRWOV16
— AFGE Local 704 (@704afge) January 8, 2019
Meanwhile, in Philadelphia the American Federation of Government Employees rallied members at Independence Hall, where they were joined by Pennsylvania lawmakers such as Reps. Dwight Evans, Mary Gay Scanlon, Brian Fitzpatrick and Brendan Boyle.