Many federal employees gathered along MacCorkle Avenue urging Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito to do her job and end the shutdown

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With no deal being reached to end the government shutdown and avoid default, federal employees hit the streets Tuesday to voice their displeasure and send a message.

“For Congress to come together and get us either a clean continuing resolution or a budget and put us back to work and pay us like we should be getting paid,” said Charlie Yates, president of the American Federation of Government Employees.

Yates along with a number of other employees lined up along MacCorkle Avenue in Kanawha City Tuesday night holding signs urging for an end to the shutdown.

“It’s not about the Republicans or the Democrats, no it’s about them coming together and doing what’s right for the American people, especially the federal employees because we’ve become the pawn in their game,” he said.

Yates, who works at the Federal Correctional Institution-McDowell, and other federal law enforcement officers are required to report for work, but they are not getting paid to do so. He said right now the finances are tight for his family and other families.

“It’s distressing not meeting your monthly obligations, being able to put food on your family’s table, and then we are still required to come to work so where does the gas money come from,” he said.

Yates adds that many of his fellow coworkers at the institution drive about an hour to get to work each day.

“It’s put a lot of stress on a lot of families,” he said.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill in both the House and Senate spent Tuesday working on separate proposals that would put an end to the nations current crisis that is heading into day 16. A vote was expected to come in the House Tuesday night on a House Republican plan, but that ended up falling through.  

With the failure to reach a deal with the looming default deadline Thursday, Gary Zuckett was concerned about the possible consequences.

“Our credit rating will tank, interest rates will go up and everything will cost more,” said Zuckett, West Virginia Citizen Action Group Executive Director. “It could put us right back to 2008, who knows.”

Tuesday’s hour long rally took place right in front of Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito’s Charleston office. Zuckett said they are not happy with her performance in Washington.

“We sent her there to run the government and not shut it down or run it into the ditch,” he said. “We really think she is not doing her job and she really needs to get on with doing her job.”

That was the message written on several signs being waved at the rally. Many motorists passing by honked their horns in support of the movement.

Zuckett, Yates and others just want the conflict to be resolved before Thursday to avoid embarrassment.

“We don’t want our government to be a deadbeat government that can’t pay its bills,” he said.

With the failed proposal in the House, both sides in the Senate began work on their own bipartisan deal to end this crisis. Both leaders in the Senate were optimistic a deal could be reached before the deadline.

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  • wvhoundsman

    if they cant do the job fire them all

  • Docbegone

    Just wait until Obamacare kicks in fully. The billions referenced above will seem like pennies compared to the catastrophic effects of this "entitlement".

  • Paul

    We sure didn't get this far in debt overnight. Could it be because we didn't pay as we go for the two wars or are we in debt cause we needed the money to pay for the wars and let the other bills go? Remember the suitcases of cash that were lost, one prison alone cost $40 million and was never finished and used. Reports show over $40 Billion wasted in Iraq and more in Afghanistan.

    • The bookman

      17 Trillion..not saying the republicans haven't spent good money after bad, but.....17 Trillion...not 40 million or 40 billion...just authorized another Trillion for a few months breathing do we have a problem or not?

  • Mike

    You all are a bunch of jack wagons. Why do we need a debt ceiling in the 1st place?? Thats what this is all about. Take a good look around today and see how many people in just you local area is at a gas station pumping gas in a car and remember that over .40 cent per gallon goes straight to Washington. Times that by how many people in America are buying gas at that very minute add in all the payroll taxes and all other taxes that they create in a days time and tell me this country is broke and needs to borrow money. I call bull. I don't know about anyone else but I was raised to know that if you cannot pay your bills with what you have coming in you start cutting corners you don't borrow more. Even if you are in hard times are you going to borrow more and send it to Egypt like the current admin is going to do. If you can't pay the bills on your payroll cut back spending boys. Get rid of Dish network and the Porche. Its what all of us working Americans would have to do.

    • WV Citizen

      You may be an old-timer but the shutdown was about the budget! All three parties)President, Senate and House) submitted a budget months ago. The process begins with the House which they determined no action should be taken! No talks or conferences were established or even start until after 9/30/2013. The Republicans want a shutdown. Capito including! She is the problem and we deserve better!!!

  • Mark

    Why were they not protesting at Rahall, Manchin, McKinley or Rockefellers' offices?

    Also, I understand what the fed employees are going through being caught in the middle of this, but people should always plan for such an emergency by having an emergency savings account. Maybe that is hard for some of them to understand since the way the govt they work for operates.

    • WV Citizen

      Duh! The repuplics are holding the country hostage. McCkinley is just as guilty as Capito.
      These two have not supported the majority of West Virginians. West Virginia deserves better!!

    • WVMom

      The last thing you need to do is lecture federal employees about not having emergency savings accounts. In a perfect world EVERYBODY would work for their money and would have a savings account to show for it. My husband is a veteran and a federal worker. How fair do you think it is to go to work and not receive a paycheck for it?

  • ole Sasquatch

    Well sir, I'm looking at that picture above and I don't believe I've ever seen a harder working group of people in my life.

  • JimJim

    Shutdown Shelly! What is she thinking. Help the people of WV. Shutdown Shelly, you're wrong!

  • Paul

    Federal employees insurance subsidies are always a target for spending cuts, by many who are also getting their own insurance subsidized by a different level of government, while few seem to discuss the billions of federal dollars spent subsidizing the corporate farmers insurance and taxpayer dollars subsidizing the insurance companies to administer this insurance each year.

  • john

    It is not democrat verses republican, it's conservative verses progressive. Progressives want to add another trillion dollars to our existing 17 trillion dollar debt, and end spending cuts already signed into law by king Obama; sounds alot like what conservatives are getting blasted for doing by mainstream media. It must be ok when progressives want to change laws. Growing debt, and printing billions of dollars every month will lead to the fall of the dollar, which will destroy the US economy. Progressives in all parties are only worried about staying in power, and less concerned about the future of our republic.

    • Scott

      Pure BS.

      Look at the 3 presidents who produced the major part of the deficit: Reagan, Bush I and Bush 2.
      Look at the only president in the current period who produced a surplus: Clinton.
      If the rich paid their fair share of taxes, we would be a hell of a lot closer to balancing the budget today. Of course if Bush II hadn't started the war with Iraq for no reason, just think of how much we would have saved in spending...and in lives.

    • WV Citizen

      You, my friend need to read/research US history. Progessives has brought alot of changes to this great country. The conservatives nothing but for the elite. I bet you buy clothing made in China or Vietnam! Where many of US based headquarters operates from. They pay no taxes and the profits they reap are huge! They control people like Cruz and Capito. We the corporations speak they listen!! I have seen enough of what Capito can and may do. A change is needed!!!

  • Brian

    I've read "Joe's" drivel for months folks - don't let a sad, pathetic little man bother you!

    Let me describe ol' Joey for ya: he NEVER served in the military (and yes, I served 4 years in the USMC, you are welcome Joe), he never held a meaningful job that actually required him to "give" something back to society, knows he will never be remembered or appreciated so his goal is to bad-mouth anyone he can until his 3-person funeral.

    And FINALLY - hates anybody, any concept, or thing that cannot be religated to it's dollar value (you know, that stuff like; caring, love, kindness, giving, helping others, "stupid" stuff like that).
    Now...., proceed with your inane response Joey boy ;)

    • Joe

      Yes, Brian. I did serve, being a graduate of tbe US Merchant Marine Academy in Great Neck. Commisioned and served 8 years as a naval officer in the US Naval Reserve on both merchant vessels and lock operations in the Panama Canal.

      Know what the typical mission of a US-flagged merchant vessel is during times of combat? Didn't think you did. Why don't you ask your other friends who deloyed stateside. You don't strike me as expeditionary force material.

  • clear fault

    It is clear who is to blame for the current stalemate: the radical republicans are holding the government hostage over obamacare, a law that has withstood legal challenges at the nation's highest court. These radical republicans would rather see the U.S. default than to accept Obamacare as law. Never in our history has any group held the nation, its financial markets, and the world hostage like this. My third grader even understands the shutdown/brink of default is the fault of the republicans.

    • MojoJojo

      They make meds for such dilusions.

    • The bookman

      The current stalemate is a product of the dysfunction in government that has existed at the federal level for decades...there is no long term vision of where we want to be in 10, 20, 30 years down the road...families don't operate that doesn't operate that way...local and state governments don't successfully operate that way..(look at Detroit and California as what not to do)...we can't kick the can down the road because we can't print our own until we have some moderation in the tone of things in Washington, and among the rest of us in the country, it will just be more of the same!!!

      • NorthernWVman

        everyone looks at the immediate here and now instead of the picture down the road.

    • NorthernWVman

      probably because you indoctrinated your third grader into believing Republicans are bad mean monsters.

  • Hillbilly

    Folks, ALL of them are part of the PROBLEM. None of them are producing a SOLUTION, so that makes them part of the PROBLEM. Why would anyone in their right mind vote for anyone currently in office in Washington?? That is the problem, each state's electorate thinks their Reps are just great and all the others are the problem. Facts are, they are all the PROBLEM.

    • The bookman

      Don't misplace the blame for the state of our is We The People...Our society, for the most part, is usually disjointed from the real issues in front of their lives...we live in a reactive society...we too easily paint with a broad brush, as evidenced in your posts and many others..."all republicans are white rich men who would throw their mama under the train for a dollar" or "all democrats are anti capitalists who want to destroy this country." Just bombastic rhetoric...we have 537 people in Washington that we as a people have placed there in good faith to govern on our behalf...we need new leaders...Obama, Boehner, Reid, McConnell, Pelosi...the rules place too much power in their hands to control the flow and pace of what does and in most cases doesn't get done in Washington...the very first thing that needs to happen in the new congress when this gets worked out is new leadership in congress!!

  • JTC

    CapiNO is too busy singing Amazing Grace in the halls of Congress instead of doing her job. When will she come out and give her stance on all of this? I bet she does not have a stance, only a puppet of the Tea Party.

    • Whatamoroon

      @JTC. I wonder how many years will go by before you realize that you are the puppet.

      • WV Citizen

        Ms. Capito will definitely put a spin on this.However, we must remember her stand on not taking a positive position on this situtation. Remember also she VOTED to change the house rules on 9/30/2013 a precurser to the shutdown. Remember her in 11/2014 and send her a message....
        Just say NO to Capito!!!!!!!

  • Joe

    Mr. Yates or Mr. Zucket..........can you please summarize for the readers the current pension and healthcare benefits you all receive via taxpayer dollars, and how much federal workers contribute to them monthly?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Yates

      Joe, I chose to be a Federal Correctional Officer, but I am still entitled to be paid for my service. BCBS for basic plan 139.00, Dental 43.00 and Eye 20.00 pre pay period. My retirment is 1.75 percent of my basic pay. I am enrolled into TSP (401k) where I contribute 15% of my pay, the agency will match upto 5%. The general public are mislead in beleiving that we are making 100s of thousands of dollars, but let me clear that up, I have been with this agency for over 22 years and I make 58500.00 a year. Yes I am thankful for my JOB, but I still have a family to support.

      • NorthernWVman

        that in comparison to state DOC? State pays approx $120 health, $40 dental, $20 eye and make approximately $26,000/year.

        • Alum

          Why don't you compare it to McDonald's too while your at it? I mean, after all you do want worst-case comparisons don't you?

    • Hillbilly

      I am not one of them, but I am a federal employee. Do some checking and you will see that an employee with Blue Cross-Blue Shield Insurance, Family Plan is paying a little over $200 every two weeks for their insurance. What do you pay? Do some checking on a current regular federal pension (FERS) and you will learn that it doesn't hold a candle to most private and state pensions. If an employee isn't dumping significant amounts into the TSP (401k) then they will starve in old age. Go to or some other site and educate yourself.

      • NorthernWVman

        What is the average salary as well in comparison to the private sector? What about such things as civil service that makes it extremely difficult to fire a poor employee?

      • Joe

        Most private employees do not have a pension plan. Are you saying you have both? Also, what are the healthcare benefits after retirement? At what age can you retire to gain them?

  • irishman

    Actually, she is doing her job. Although, unfortunately government employees are paying the price. I'm praying for you all, being that I just came off of being out of a job for two years. It's very difficult! I know! I believe that the administration that is running the country now MUST get this spending under control. There is no excuse for it. Yet, what happens instead of cutting spending? The Affordable Care Act, which is going to cost way more than projected. All government programs do. This was inevitably going to happen. No time is convenient. If we had a forward thinking President that didn't have an agenda of cresting a new that stands equal to other countries, he wouldn't be refusing to cooperate and work in cutting spending along with adding the ACA. But he doesn't care. He's enjoying this. It plays right into his plans.. and people like these government employees as well as all the rest of us pay the price of being a pawn right in the middle of it all.

    • Hillbilly


      • john

        I agree with you, but people are only concerned about getting all they can get today without thinking about the future and how all of the out of controll spending will affect their future. They have been brainwashed by Obama always telling them they are victoms instead taking responsibility for themselves.