DENVER- Today more than 100 furloughed federal workers and members of unions and community organizations protested the U.S. government shutdown before the offices of the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) here. As passing cars honked up and down Broadway, protestors chanted “This is what democracy looks like” and “This shutdown has got to go.” They carried signs asking to go back to work.
“Ninety-four percent of [Environmental Protection Agency] employees are on furlough,” said Dave Christenson, a legislative advocate for the American Federation of Government Employees. He added that, with just under 10 percent of their staff at work, the EPA is not able to do things like fully monitor safe drinking water.
Christopher Fowler, on furlough from his work at HUD, said first time home buyers looking for any kind of federal loan assistance won’t find it right now.
“Our job is to help bring up these people who have worked so hard,” he said. “Right now we can’t do that.”
With the clock ticking until the government defaults on its debt and with reports of Congress scrambling to pass a clean budget resolution, World War II Veteran Edward W. Wood Jr. wasn’t feeling optimistic.
“I feel terrible right now,” he said, worried that veterans might not receive benefits on November 1. “But I still love this country. I’m still volunteering to fight for it.”