How NPR Listeners Are Feeling Effects Of Government Shutdown

Jan 6, 2019
Originally published on January 10, 2019 3:39 pm
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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We've been asking listeners how the partial government shutdown is affecting them. We have received a lot of responses from federal workers facing eviction to students unable to access federal aid and many others. We're going to hear a couple more of those stories now.

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JOSHUA HENSON: I'm Joshua Henson (ph). I'm transitioning into work as an engineer for the Department of Homeland Security with the Coast Guard, and I live in Washington, D.C. The shutdown put me into a really tenuous place personally and financially. I am transitioning into a new role with federal work for the Coast Guard, something that I've looked forward to for a long time. I went ahead, and I gave my previous employer notice that I would be resigning. And, the very next day, the shutdown happened and threw all of those plans into disarray.

I've heard a lot of talk about how federal workers are going to receive back pay, and this shouldn't really be a big deal for everybody. But people need to understand that there are those of us who are technically unemployed. I have not started work yet. I will not receive back pay. I'm trying to stay optimistic and positive, but I think a lot of people need to recognize that politics and policy is ultimately about people, and we need to remember the people who get caught up in these arguments.

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MATT LOCKE: My name is Matt Locke (ph). I am opening up a meadery in Nashville, Tenn. We'll be the first one in town. But the final hurdle for us is getting our recipes and labels approved. So with the government in shutdown, there's a big question mark as to when we'll actually be able to sell our first bottles. You know, this has been a dream of me and my partners. And, you know, if we run out of money, and we have to go belly-up, I don't even want to think about that.

MARTIN: That was Joshua Henson, a Coast Guard engineer in Washington, D.C., and Matt Locke, a mead maker in Nashville, Tenn. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.