The partial shutdown of the US government is now on day 34, with 800,000 employees still not getting their paychecks.
TSA agents and air traffic controllers are calling in sick. The FBI, Secret Services and IRS are all cutting back on their normal services. The USDA and FDA have halted inspections of food and drugs. For the first time ever, US military personnel are not being paid, as they defend our country.
While the stalemate between Congress and the President continues, there’s been a heartwarming outpouring of support for the government employees caught in the middle. Companies across multiple industries are providing discounted or free services to those affected. Restaurants, chefs, and food banks are offering free meals. Banks are suspending interest on loans; PayPal is offering cash advances to its federal employee customers.
Helping those in need crosses party lines and political affiliations. It brings out the best in all of us. It also exposes just how many functions that we rely on every day are performed by government employees.
Let’s hope that this situation is resolved sooner rather than later, but also that once these people go back to their jobs and their normal lives, we don’t lose the compassion and caring that brought people together to help those who were down, but not out.
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