Dan Roderick is an Aviation Safety Inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration. Andrew Harris is a mechanic and a calibrator employed by the Department of Defense. Marlena White works for the Bureau of Fiscal Service in the Department of the Treasury. They spoke at a rally outside the U.S. Capitol on October 10, 2013. I also spoke to Andrew Harris after the rally.
DAN RODERICK: My name is Dan Roderick, I’m an aviation safety inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration.
Right now, our airspace system is less safe than it was two weeks ago, when I and 3,000 of my colleagues were on the job. No one is looking at our airspace system right now. Airplanes are not being inspected. Pilots and flight attendants aren’t being looked at to make sure they are getting the proper rest. Boeing has airplanes that they would like to deliver, but they’re sitting on the ramp. This is costing American jobs.
So I say to Speaker Boehner, don’t just be the Speaker for the Tea Party, be a Speaker for all Americans. End the shutdown!
ANDREW HARRIS: I work at Bolling Air Force Base. I’m a calibrator and a mechanic. I fix the military’s equipment. I repair and maintain a lot of the vehicles, generators, signal generators, multimeters.
Right now I’m back at work, but we are not funded. I can’t buy parts. I can’t do anything to make my military efficient so they can do what they do. How can I fix anything without funding?
I’m trying to do some parts of my job, but there’s not a lot I can do. I feel like the stereotype people have of government workers. A guy with his feet up, not doing anything all day. When I’m regularly working, I’m proud of the job I do. I’m working sun up to sun down. But right now, there’s a lot of sitting.
Because I’m already furloughed due to sequestration, I’m living check to check. I’m not the sole breadwinner in my house, but I’m the one who makes the most money. And if my check gets cut, the whole family has problems.
I got a government job because the government is supposed to be dependable. We should all want to work for the government, and there should be nothing more dependable than a government job. Does it look dependable right now? What’s going on?
I would tell John Boehner that Congress already passed a bill giving you everything you wanted. Why do you have to shut it down for something else? This is the second time you have put me out of work. Being out of work means surviving. It means struggling, it means starving my family. Is that worth this bill you want so bad?
You call it Obamacare, but it’s not really Obamacare. It’s called the Affordable Health Care Act. Call it by its right name and do the right thing. That’s what I would tell him.
MARLENA WHITE: I have worked for the Bureau of Fiscal Service, formerly known as the Financial Management Service, for nine years. I lead a team that is responsible for producing the monthly Treasury Statement. The monthly Treasury Statement includes the receipts and outlays of the United States government.
The statement for September will be delayed because my colleagues and I were told to go home. The September statement is particularly important because the figures it contains report information for the entire fiscal year, for the surplus and deficit. A lot of people on Capitol Hill depend on this information.
I have a daughter. She is twelve years old and she is counting on me to be able to pay my bills. And my pay has been frozen for three years. And now I, along with the rest of the federal workplace, we’re closed. They closed us out. That is what has happened. The shutdown needs to end. It needs to end right now.