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Local furloughed workers speak out against government shutdown, Congress

Updated: Wednesday, October 2 2013, 10:24 PM MDT
Local furloughed workers speak out against government shutdown, Congress story image

By: Bill Melugin

EL PASO, Texas --

It's day two of the first government shutdown in 17 years, and frustrations towards Congress are growing in the Borderland.

A small, but very passionate group of furloughed hospital workers protested outside of William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss Wednesday morning, where they directed their anger towards the politicians in Washington.

"We are trying to get everyone educated on the fact that this Congress has really just screwed up this economy, our employees are not getting paid, I'm not getting paid, veterans are not getting paid, which means that's gonna hurt the city of El Paso," said Paul Ferris, a furloughed hospital worker. "It means were not going to be able to take care of our patients the way we should be taking care of our patients."

Ferris said he and other federal employees are suffering, and don't have the money to spend on extra food, gas, bills, or extracurricular activities.

"Congress is not working together, it's OK to disagree, we disagree all the time amongst family members, but family takes care of family and right now, it's clear that Congress is not a part of the American family," Ferris said. "What Congress is doing is disrespectful to the federal worker, and all military, and everyone that defends this nation."

Ferris told KFOX14 the furloughs will affect non-federal workers as well because of the economy.

"We have no money so we won't be buying anything, we will not use our credit cards in the economy of El Paso, and this is not a party issue, when I spend my money it goes for Democrats and Republicans," Ferris said. "If you're pro business, guess what, that dollar that I don't have anymore, I'm not spending it."

KFOX14 also spoke with Tom Fullerton, an economics professor at the University of Texas, El Paso, about the government shutdown, and how it compares to ones in the past.

"Government shutdowns have occurred 17 times since 1977, in most cases these shutdowns have lasted a day or less, they've been very temporary, however in 1995, things changed, because the atmosphere in Congress was much more negative, and the differences were much more pronounced than in other years," Fullerton said. "This time is starting to resemble what happened in 1995."

Local furloughed workers speak out against government shutdown, Congress
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