Maryland U.S. Senators Push for End to Government Shutdown - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland U.S. Senators Push for End to Government Shutdown

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WASHINGTON - (AP/WBOC) A Senate vote Thursday night brought 80,000 federal workers one step closer to the promise of a paycheck when the government eventually reopens.

The bill, sponsored by Maryland's U.S. democratic Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, ensures those working without pay will get paid retroactively.

Ben Cardin couldn't see the sense in the shutdown.

"There is no reason that government should be shut down," said Cardin. "None whatsoever. It's more than just the 800,000, it's the people of America who are being denied the services they need. It's our economy that's suffering as a result of President Trump's policies."

The vote on back pay will go to the house Friday.

Federal workers across the country are scaling back spending, canceling trips, applying for unemployment benefits and taking out loans to stay afloat, with no end in sight for a partial shutdown that enters its 21st day Friday and will be the longest in history by this weekend.

Rachael Weatherly is a senior adviser for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but she's considering trying to get a job at a grocery store.

Weatherly, a Maryland resident and mother of two young children, said a recent separation from her spouse drained her bank account, and she's just beginning to re-establish her savings. She can't afford to miss one paycheck.

"I filed for unemployment. I'm waiting for that to come through," she said.

Weatherly said her day care provider agreed to defer payments, as did her mortgage company. But she still worries any late mortgage payments could negatively affect her credit score. The uncertainty, she said, is heightening her concerns.

"I just don't see how this is going to end," she said.

Roughly 420,000 federal employees were deemed essential and are working unpaid. An additional 380,000 are staying home without pay. While furloughed federal workers have been given back pay in previous shutdowns, it's not guaranteed that will happen this time.

Government contractors, who have been placed indefinitely on unpaid leave, don't get compensated for lost hours.

Most of the government workers received their last paycheck two weeks ago, and Friday will be the first payday with no money. 

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