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Letter: Congress is hurting hundreds of thousands

As a member of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) and a federal retiree who served this country for years, I am appalled that Congress was unable to come to an agreement, causing our government to shut down.

Uncertainty caused by a government shutdown is deeply concerning to my family and will cost our country in lost productivity and services. During the last government shutdown in 2013, nearly 850,000 federal workers were barred from their jobs without pay for 16 days. Today, because of Congress’ inability to compromise, federal employees, their families and all Americans are yet again grappling with the uncertainty of how they will be affected by the government shutdown.

Undoubtedly, our country will feel the effects of government’s limited functioning. Our national parks are closed. Food inspectors are sitting at home. Infectious diseases are going untested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Don’t expect anyone at the IRS to pick up the phone if you have questions about filing your taxes.

Inaction by Congress is putting hundreds of thousands out of work and costing the economy billions. Federal employees are the backbone of the nation’s middle class and they should not be treated with contempt.

Congress must reopen the federal government immediately and never let this happen again.

— Charles Talley

Charlotte

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