MSNBC highlights the impact of the government shutdown on federal employees

Vaughn Hillyard on federal employees interviewed by the network: “Both men were very frank with us that they need the cash. They are both raising their kids.”

From the January 2 edition of MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin:

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YASMIN VOSSOUGHIAN (GUEST HOST): Meantime, more agencies are set to shut their doors today because of the shutdown. The Smithsonian, the National Zoo, as well as the Federal Communications Commission will be locked up beginning today, and the impact is beginning to be felt by federal workers across the country -- 15 federal agencies are affected by the shutdown, 420,000 federal employees are working without pay, and 380,000 employees are now on unpaid leave or furlough. NBC's Vaughn Hillyard is outside the beltway in Wilmington, North Carolina, just one city where federal workers are wondering when they'll see their next paycheck. Vaughn, good to talk to you. Happy New Year. What'd you find out there? 

VAUGHN HILLYARD (NBC POLITICAL REPORTER): Yeah good morning, Yasmin. There's about 420,000 furloughed workers. Those are federal workers that are not working and also don't get a paycheck, and they're going to have to rely on Congress to approve back pay. But there's about another 400,000 workers that have been deemed by the federal government to be essential employees, and they're going and doing their jobs, yet don't know when their paycheck is going to come. It will not come until after this shutdown ends and the president has made it very clear that he is willing to make this last, as he said, a long time. A couple of those workers, I want to introduce you to two of them, Matt Craviotto and Bill Kirby. They both work over at Wilmington International Airport. They are air traffic control specialists. The government has deemed them essential because they're the ones that the Delta flights, American flights that come here into Wilmington, they need places to land, and it's those guys that are doing that job. But both men, they have young children, and they rely on that paycheck every two weeks. This is a little bit about what they told us just last night as they head to work. 


MATT CRAVIOTTO (AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SPECIALIST): Honestly, I'm not a huge politics person so I don't know who to blame. I just know that they're supposed to figure out policy together, and it's supposed to go through checks and balances, and it's not being done. Yeah, I don't follow politics. 

HILLYARD: What would be your message to them then? 

CRAVIOTTO: To do what you're getting paid to do. 



HILLYARD: Both men were very frank with us that they need the cash. They are both raising their kids. Their household relies on that, on each of their paychecks every single two weeks, and when we're talking with them, they said it ultimately comes down to child care. It comes down to the groceries, and when they don't know what they're going to do, they have to turn to family for some help. They said the credit card charges are going to be, ultimately being increased, and depending on how long this goes, does it ultimately turn into going and seeking a loan from the the bank. These are very real conversations that are taking place in towns across the country as this government shutdown goes on and as negotiations take place up on Capitol Hill, Yasmin. 


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