Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib tweet stories of workers affected by shutdown

A pair of newly sworn-in progressive Democratic lawmakers took to Twitter Tuesday to highlight the stories of a couple of the roughly 800,000 federal workers affected by the partial government shutdown.

“I just had a furloughed worker come visit me in my office. ‘I work for HUD,’ he said. ‘My family is hurting now that I’m three weeks without a paycheck, but please — please don’t give into a wall. I don’t want the political tool of withholding my paycheck to be legitimized,’” Queens Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a tweet.

Ocasio-Cortez did not name the individual, who like other federal workers will miss their first post-shutdown paycheck this week, meaning they were last paid nearly three weeks ago.

“Let’s refocus our energy and coverage to policies instead of personality. Right now, 800,000 workers are without a paycheck. The President is holding gov operations hostage so that he can build a monument to himself on the southern border that the maj of Americans don’t want,” she wrote in a second tweet.

Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib — who outraged the White House when she called the president a “motherf–ker” who would be impeached — cited the case of federal worker Hodari Brown, who was quoted in The Detroit News saying he couldn’t pay his bills for heat, electricity, water and food without a paycheck.

“All of these things are now in flux for me,” Brown said Tuesday at a press conference on the shutdown at the Michigan Veterans Foundation. “The longer I go without a paycheck, the longer I fall into jeopardy of not being able to pay my mortgage, which will impact my credit and have a negative impact on me trying to survive.”

Brown said he also helps fill shortfalls for his parents who live on Social Security and retirement checks to pay their bills.

“This is the reality of many folks across the state and the country who now have to wonder when we will receive our next paycheck. … We need action to reopen the government,” Brown said.

“The government shutdown’s human impact is detrimental and the toll is growing. This is why it is critical we put a human face to those people harmed directly and fully grasp how our families are hurt by our federal government closing its doors. #endgovernmentshutdown,” Tlaib tweeted, along with a photo of Brown.

She also tweeted about a social service agency that relies on government funding to help victims of domestic violence.

“Focus: Human impact. At LA VIDA, they provide many services to survivors of domestic, sexual. They rely on funding from the Violence Against Women Act. Because of the shutdown, the Act was not extended by Congress and expired when the #governmentshutdown occurred,” she tweeted.

President Trump — who will make his case for beefed-up border security in a prime-time speech Tuesday — has said that federal workers have reached out to him to tell him not to back down in his quest to get $5.7 billion for a section of his long-promised wall, but the White House did not offer specifics.

Customs and Border Patrol and ICE union brass also appeared with the president in the White House briefing room last week to support his hardline positions on border security.

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