KANSAS CITY, Mo. — U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s last-ditch plan to keep the federal government temporarily open collapsed Friday, one day before a deadline that makes a shutdown almost certain.
The vote was 198-232 with 21 Republicans joining the vote to sink the makeshift package. The White House and Democrats called the Republican plan, with steep spending cuts of up to 30%, too extreme.
Meanwhile, federal employees in the Kansas City metro are bracing for the delay of their next paycheck.
Local unions said many of their employees will be required to continue working in a shutdown. They just won’t immediately receive compensation from the government.
It’s leading to some hard choices for some employees who tell FOX4 the money may stop but their bills certainly won’t.
There’s been a lot of uncertainty leading to this weekend, and there’s uncertainty about how long the shutdown could last if it starts Sunday.
But an expected outcome from workers is this: The federal government is the largest employer in Kansas City metro, and all those employees will be tighter with money in the short-term. But the effect on the local economy will be immediate.
About 3,000 Social Security workers alone work at the federal building in downtown Kansas City. Don Halliburton is chief steward of AFGE Local 1336, representing those employees and thousands more regionally.
He said because of actions in Washington, those workers — many living paycheck-to-paycheck — carry the burden of the shutdown.
“Now we’re going to factor in having to come to work, meaning put your car on the road, drive in, put gas in the tank,” Halliburton said.
“Many people still have to come into work that are essential, and they have to do that and don’t know when they’re next check is coming in, don’t know when their next payday is coming in.”
Jefferson Suchman, president of AFGE Local 1748 representing local Department of Labor workers, said some workers are delaying home repairs and other purchases because of the shutdown as income becomes less reliable.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty. There’s also a lot of anger and frustration,” Suchman said.
“The bank is still going to want their mortgage payment. Your car note is still going to come due. All of that stuff doesn’t stop just because a few people in Washington are playing games,” Suchman said.
“The last people in the world that you want to be going without a paycheck are prison guards and jet engine mechanics at a military base, but that’s who they’re sticking it to,” he said.
Halliburton said he’s encouraging some employees to request documents addressing the shutdown from the federal government for their landlords and creditors — in case the shutdown stretches onward.
“All you can do is take it one day at a time. These are our jobs. This is our career. Us here at Social Security, we know that — just like lawmakers making their decisions, there’s lives connect to it — us showing up and doing our job there’s real lives connected to it,” Halliburton said.