Possible Federal Shutdown Threatens to Dampen Holiday

Bill would fund government agencies beyond Friday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    For the third time this year, thousands of government workers are facing the possibility of a shutdown.

    For the third time this year, thousands of government workers are facing the possibility of a shutdown.

    Democrats, led by President Barack Obama, are refusing to sign off on a government funding bill that would keep federal agencies funded beyond Friday.

    "This bill is terrible,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J.

    Republicans accused Democrats of blocking the critical year-end funding bill in order to use it as leverage in the payroll tax cut negotiations.

    "They'd rather shut down the government than allow this job-creating legislation to become law," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

    Caught in the middle are about 800,000 federal employees and hundreds of thousands of contractors who would face furloughs as the Christmas holidays are approaching.

    For FAA workers it would be the second time this year they would go without a paycheck.

    “Most of us don’t have a lot of savings,” FAA worker Gene Hayes said. “We have some, but we don’t have enough to carry us for the length of time it took for the last furlough, to the place where they brought us back to work.”

    Many workers said they aren't spending much this holiday season. They’re worried that the confusing standoff on Capitol Hill will hit them hard.

    The largest government employees union is warning them to be prudent.

    “After this one there will be another one,” said Dwight Bowman of AFGE. “There’s going to be a constant continuing resolution process.”