Amid shutdown, federal workers air financial worries at Palmdale town hall

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Monday, January 7, 2019
Palmdale town hall: Federal workers air concerns about shutdown
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Federal workers and union leaders expressed worries about making ends meet during the government shutdown at a town hall in Palmdale held by newly elected Rep. Katie Hill.

PALMDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- As the federal government shutdown entered its third week, newly elected Rep. Katie Hill met with about 200 constituents and union leaders to discuss its economic impact.

Some in the audience at the Palmdale town hall included federal workers worried about how they would pay their bills if the shutdown lasts much longer.

The partial federal government shutdown began on Dec. 22 as congressional leaders and President Donald Trump were unable to come to agreement on a budget plan and the president's demand for funding to build a border wall.

Hill, a Democrat, was elected in November to represent the 25th District, which includes parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

She says there are thousands of federal workers in her district who are not receiving their pay.

"We have to make it clear that this isn't something we're going to stand for," Hill said. "We need the American people to stand with us and say this is completely unacceptable. We need to reopen the government, we need to stop playing politics with people's lives."

Bobby Orozco, a union representative for TSA workers, said it is growing increasingly difficult for them financially.

"Right now employees are just trying to make ends meet," Orozco said. "Some of them are working two jobs. ... It's rough right now."

Hill says she'll take the workers' concerns back to Washington. She and her Democratic colleagues are working on proposals to try to open some portions of the government while talks on the overall budget continue.