The inability of our elected leaders in Washington to keep the federal government open is appalling. I am proud of my work as a federal employee to serve the country I love. Now that the government is partially shut down, federal workers nationwide are forced to stay at home and wait for the government to reopen. These workers are no longer able to provide the services that our fellow Americans rely on (“In Maryland, government shutdown affects a college basketball player, farmers' aid, tax services and much more,” Jan. 8).
Middle-class federal workers and their families are forced to stretch their pennies until the shutdown is over. Furloughed employees are navigating this difficult time without any guarantee of back pay. Even employees who aren't furloughed will not be paid as long as the government is shut down. Bills still arrive on time even if paychecks don't, and many federal employees are being forced to make difficult financial decisions to make ends meet.
Our legislators in Congress need to stop playing political games with our government's services and those who provide them (“Congress can end the shutdown,” Dec. 27). Bipartisan-supported appropriations legislation to reopen the government should not be held hostage until an agreement is reached over border security funding. Legislators and the president must reach consensus immediately so committed federal employees across the nation and right here at home can earn their livelihoods and get back to work for our country (“Four ways to end the government shutdown,” Dec. 27).
James Fenn, Gaithersburg