Impact Of Shutdown Forcing Tough Decisions, Hard Feelings
January 15, 2019
With the partial federal government shutdown now in its 25th day and hopes of a resolution nowhere to be seen, the effect on furloughed workers is beginning to take its toll.
One of those is Dan Kloc of Howell, who works at the Environmental Protection Agency in Ann Arbor. Like hundreds of thousands of other federal employees he missed his paycheck that had been due last week and is scrambling to pay his bills and make ends meet. Kloc, who is also a disabled Army veteran, tells WHMI that his wife is a cancer survivor with some ongoing health problems, which makes him her primary caregiver. They are currently living off their savings, but he says once January ends, if there’s no resolution, they will be facing some dire consequences.
As to the politics behind the shutdown, Kloc says he is way past any of that really mattering to him. "I did have some very strong political views on all this, but its no longer a case of politics for me. Its not a Republican of Democratic thing for me anymore. I've got to push all those feelings aside. I'm more concerned about putting food on the table. I don't care anymore if they build the wall or not. I just want the thing resolved so that myself and my colleagues can start taking care of their families again."
Kloc says while they will get back pay once the shutdown ends, that does nothing to pay the bills now. As for anyone who says he should just get another job while he is furloughed, Kloc says they don’t understand that for most federal workers there are regulations in place that actually prevent them from moonlighting. Breaking those rules, shutdown or no shutdown, could result in them losing their jobs.
While he can look to family members to help him if the shutdown continues, he realizes they have bills to pay also, so that really isn’t a viable long-term solution. Kloc says each day that passes during the shutdown is doing long-term harm to our nation more than any of the political considerations at the heart of the debate. (JK)