Senate Democrats gathered with furloughed federal workers to send a message to House Republicans on Wednesday: It’s enough.
“Enough is enough,” Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said in a news conference Wednesday. “Sequestration is stupid. Shutting down the government is stupidity on steroids.”
“We are destroying our federal government and the morale of the men and women that we count on. I want the government reopened, so we do the job,” Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., said.
Nearly 800,000 federal workers were furloughed Tuesday after Congress was unable to reach an agreement on a continuing resolution to keep the government open.
Marcelo Del Canto, a furloughed budget analyst at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, said he and his wife, also a furloughed federal worker, are dealing with the unplanned financial burden of the shutdown.
“As a budget analyst, I did not have this in my budget to be furloughed,” Del Canto said. “This has gone on long enough, and we need to get back to work and provide the services that these people need and depend on us to provide.”
Amy Fritz, a 38-year-old furloughed meteorologist who builds models that predict storm surge for the National Weather Service, warned of the potential impact furloughs may have during the rest of hurricane season.
“If something should happen during the rest of our hurricane season, I’m like the rest of the Americans furloughed and unable to do their jobs,” Fritz said. “Let us get back to work. Let us do our jobs so we can serve you all.”
Senate Democrats said they oppose House Speaker John Boehner’s plan to pass piecemeal funding measures and urged him to have a vote on the clean continuing resolution.
“Free the 435. Let the House vote. Reopen the federal government,” Mikulski said.