Federal workers cautious about deal to reopen the government

Posted: Updated:
SOUTH BRUNSWICK -

President Donald Trump and members of Congress have come up with a plan to temporarily reopen the federal government.

But federal workers who were furloughed or working without pay say that the relief is only temporary since there is an expiration date on the deal. The president said that the government would reopen for three weeks – until Feb. 15 – while Congress works on a plan to fund border security.

President Trump shut down the federal government for over 30 days – the longest government shutdown in United States history – due to a dispute with Congress about the funding for a border wall. Federal workers went all that time without getting paid – leading some to have to resort to visiting food banks.

IRS worker Cheryl Asnis says that although she is happy the government will be reopened, she is anxious waiting on the deadline.

“You can’t just concentrate on your work. You’re going to be stressed out because you know that the government will be closed again in three weeks,” she says. “It does affect people from being able to complete their work assignments.”

RELATED: President Trump, Congress leaders reach deal to end shutdown 
RELATED: ‘If it continues on, my family is in a bad way’: Federal workers want shutdown to end 

Asnis and her husband both work for the IRS. She says that they have been able to live off their savings during the shutdown. But she says that she knows that some of her friends and co-workers have not had that option.

"They may not have savings or sufficient savings to pay rent and utilities or food. I mean, it’s quite costly,” she says.

Last week Asnis took part in a workshop for furloughed workers, which was hosted by Sen. Bob Menendez. She says that she never wants to have to sit in a workshop like that again and hopes that Republicans and Democrats can come to an agreement to prevent another shutdown.

“Hopefully they can work something out so we can continue to work and I’ll be very happy when we're no longer on a continuing resolution and they have passed a budget so that we can keep working,” she says.

President Trump says that if a deal is not reached by Feb. 15, he will either shutdown the government once again or declare a national emergency to get his funding.

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