Houstonians furloughed by government shutdown protest outside VA Hospital

Houstonians furloughed by the government shutown protest outside the VA Hospital
October 5, 2013 9:25:27 PM PDT
Houstonians who've been furloughed by the government shutdown held a protest outside the VA Hospital on Saturday.

They say lawmakers are putting politics above families that are now missing out on paychecks.

The protesting government workers had one goal in mind.

"Stop the shutdown," Fernando Grajales said.

Grajales is a government worker who represents the local chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees, and he was protesting alongside workers from NASA and TSA, among other government agencies.

"We're asking people to call their congressmen and tell them to do what they are paid to do," Grajales said.

These workers are among thousands nationwide on furlough because of the government shutdown. Some were told not to come to work. Others have to work but with no compensation at the moment, like TSA screener Mike Sanders.

"We're still having to work, but we're not going to get any pay," Sanders said. "We're not getting paid."

The protestors said they've been doing their jobs, but not our lawmakers.

"We're protesting against the shutdown, to Congress to do their job," NASA employee Bridget Broussard-Guidry said. "If we didn't do our job, we would be fired."

There was word today from Capitol Hill that federal workers could receive retroactive pay once the government reopens, which will help workers but may not, some say, address the bigger issue.

"Whether you're a Democrat or Republican, Independent, you cannot be happy with what's going on in Washington," veteran Kenneth Aitken said.

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