Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi's rebuttal to President Trump's primetime address on border security Tuesday night was mocked more than it was praised. Yet, here they are again Wednesday morning to hold a press conference on why the Democrats are supposedly on the moral high ground.
This time, they were accompanied by a group of federal workers who have been furloughed as a result of the government shutdown. One by one, spokesmen and women from government departments explained how the shutdown was affecting their wellbeing.
A HUD spokeswoman said building inspections not taking place as a result of the shutdown, while others are "facing eviction."
A representative from FEMA noted that their agency is still recovering from hurricane-heavy season and massive wildfires. "Normally," he said, this is when they rest and prepare for the next big disaster. Not so with the shutdown.
But Eric Young, AFGE Bureau of Prisons Leader, was most upset when explaining how the shutdown is hurting federal correction workers. Young, who represents over 30,000 Bureau of Prisons correctional officers, explained that those employees are the lowest-paid in the federal government, many earning around $500-$700 a week. Some of are single mothers, who are now forced to work without pay, despite having to pay for child care. Many more are living "paycheck to paycheck."
It’s so bad, Young explained, that secretaries, cooks and teachers are having to fill in for the correctional officers. He ended with a warning for the president.
"If something happens to any of our professionals behind this distraction, blood will be on your hands," Young said. "Stop playing chicken with our lives."
The government shutdown is now in its 19th day. According to Schumer, the president's primetime address Tuesday night did not "persuade a soul" about the need for a border wall.