As the partial shutdown of the federal government stands poised to enter its fourth week, many organizations are using their platforms to call for a resolution.
The shutdown becomes more painful today as many federal workers miss their first paycheck, and many are speaking out against having to work without pay, including tweets using the hashtag #ShutdownStory.
Some posted images of their pay stubs:
I just got my paystub, it was $0 (-$130 actually to account for mandatory deductions). However, my Senator @KamalaHarris is on a book tour charging $40 per seat. #ShutdownStory #DoYourJob https://t.co/DTmJo3Hfgu pic.twitter.com/VwGGwfpgqA
— Oscar Murillo (@jamito) January 10, 2019
The shutdown has caused problems for airports, which lack TSA staff, and the FBI, as well as for private companies such as breweries that rely on government approval to sell new products.
Many organizations and individuals are speaking up in hopes of ending the costly shutdown.
Federal workers and their supporters rallied for their jobs near the White House on Thursday as the partial government shutdown rolled through its third week with no end in sight.
Almost half of the 800,000 civilian federal employees are not working, and even those who are won’t be paid until the stalemate is settled. For most, the furlough becomes real Friday when they miss their first payday.
Hundreds of protesters marched near the White House on a sunny but cold and windy day with signs saying, “Let me work for the people,” “We want to work” and “Trump: End the shutdown.”
Some organizations have tried to talk about it officially, too:
USA Today continued:
The U.S. Coast Guard posted a tip sheet with a list of suggestions such as holding garage sales, baby-sitting or tutoring to make ends meet. One last option: declaring bankruptcy. The tip sheet was later removed from the agency’s website.
The union that represents the FBI wrote a letter, which read in part:
We, the undersigned, are proud FBI Special Agents. Today, we write in our capacity as the volunteer leadership and chapter representatives of the FBI Agents Association (“FBIAA”), a professional organization representing nearly all active duty Special Agents. FBIAA members elected us, and we represent all FBI field offices. We are the only dedicated voice for the nearly 13,000 active FBI Special Agents, the vast majority of whom are members of the FBIAA.
[…]The men and women of the FBI proudly serve this nation and are honored to protect our country and Constitution from all threats, foreign and domestic. We are confident that our leaders share this commitment to protecting our country and will find a path forward to fund the DOJ and the FBI. As those on the frontlines in the fight against criminals and terrorists, we urge expediency before financial insecurity compromises national security.
Airlines and airports have been compelled to respond, as the shutdown has led to TSA agent shortages.
The Belleville News-Democrat reported:
With more federal security screeners refusing to work without pay, Miami International Airport plans to cut off access to one of its terminals over the weekend in order to send TSA workers to busier checkpoints, a spokesman said Thursday night.
Closing of the security checkpoint at Terminal G is set to begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, in what would be the 22nd day of a partial shutdown of the federal government. Federal screeners are calling in sick at double the normal rate for Miami, and TSA managers aren’t confident they will have enough workers to operate all 11 checkpoints at normal hours throughout the airport, said MIA spokesman Greg Chin.
“We felt we had to make a decision before the weekend,” Chin said. “They’re erring on the side of caution.”
Organizations that represent air traffic controllers are speaking up.
“Without a fully functioning F.A.A., a layer of safety is missing,” said Mike Perrone, the national president of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, which represents safety inspectors who are furloughed.
At a rally outside the Capitol, where a crowd of air traffic controllers and other aviation workers gathered on a blustery afternoon to call for an end to the shutdown, Mr. Perrone warned of the risk of sidelining F.A.A. workers who could be inspecting planes and pilots.
[…]“Every day that goes by that the government is shut down, safety is going to be compromised,” Mr. Perrone said. “Every day that goes by, something could occur that causes a crack in the system.”
Airline spokespeople have promised to not let shortages disrupt service.
The Belleville News-Democrat continued:
Thursday night, a United spokeswoman issued a statement predicting passengers won’t be impacted by the logistical scramble.
“We will work to ensure we do everything we can for our customers, and we do not expect any operational impact,” the airline said.
Other companies, including craft beer breweries, are telling their customers how the government shutdown is affecting their business.
As of Dec. 21, the TTB had received 192,279 label applications since the start of 2018. That breaks down to over 3,000 applications coming in every week.
But since the government shut down, labels aren’t getting approved right now. That’s a problem for beermakers like Joe Katchever, owner and brewmaster of Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse, Wis.
Pearl Street is celebrating its 20th anniversary in February, and Katchever’s team brewed something special for the big anniversary party. Called Deux Decadence (a nod to two decades), the stout has been aging in bourbon barrels from Kentucky for a year.
But Katchever can’t bottle the more than 500 cases of beer until his label gets approved by the bureau.
“We can still roll out the beer in draft form,” Katchever said. “We’re all hoping they figure out what they need to figure out and open the government back up.”
Associations that represent the big beer companies also voiced concerns.
Craig Purser, president of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, said large alcohol companies and their distributors rely on the same services from TTB that craft producers use. “[It] doesn’t matter what the size of the company is; when nobody’s answering the phone, the work stops and it really puts the beer industry at a disadvantage,” Purser said.
Purser said breweries big and small worry that disadvantage could start to affect their bottom line if the government shutdown continues to keep them from bottling and selling their beers.
On Twitter, organizations promised to continue to protect consumers despite shutdown-related difficulties.
— The FAA (@FAANews) January 10, 2019
Other federal organizations have stropped actively managing their social media handles.
Due to a lapse in appropriations, NSF will not be posting or responding to any comments. We will return as soon as possible.
— National Science Foundation (@NSF) December 26, 2018
During the federal government shutdown, we will not monitor or update social media. Some NPS areas are accessible, however access may change without notice, and there are no NPS-provided services. For more information, visit the park’s website at https://t.co/OfxpwHOf5G
— NationalParkService (@NatlParkService) December 22, 2018
During a federal government shutdown, we will not monitor or update social media. Some Yellowstone areas are accessible: however, access may change without notice and there are no NPS-provided services. For more information go to https://t.co/5Msp3OK8Sa.
— YellowstoneNPS (@YellowstoneNPS) December 22, 2018
Organizations that represent federal workers are using their Twitter handles to speak out, but still avoided taking political sides.
“This is not about politics for Special Agents. For Special Agents, financial security is national security.”- FBIAA Pres. @tfoconnor83 in media briefing on effects of gov. shutdown. Read petition signed by FBIAA representatives from all field offices: https://t.co/sR7Hll5Kqm pic.twitter.com/htNnZ4QcNR
— FBI Agents Assoc. (@FBIAgentsAssoc) January 10, 2019
What do you think of these organizations’ efforts to talk about the shutdown?