'Shutdown has to go:' Federal workers in Houston want to get back to work

HOUSTON – The government shutdown met rocket science Tuesday in front of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston as federal workers called for an end to the stalemate that has prevented them from working for more than three weeks.

The group hoisted signs and chanted, "Shutdown has to go." Protesters said they wanted to highlight the financial plight of the 800,000 federal employees and their families who are impacted by the longest shutdown in U.S. history.

"I have a real job, right now, at NASA Johnson Space Center," Seve Candler said after a passing driver shouted at him. "He's telling me to get a real job. I'm not being paid if I go to work over there."

Candler said he has worked at NASA for more than 25 years. He is one of about 2,800 NASA workers who are furloughed during the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. Another 300 are at work on essential systems, like keeping the space station flying, and are not being paid.

VIDEO: Federal workers protest government shutdown in Houston

"I just signed a lease on a new apartment in Nassau Bay," Candler said. "(I) paid the first month. I don't have enough for the second month. I live paycheck to paycheck."

For some, paying the bills means taking a loan or delaying payments, while they wait for President Donald Trump and Democrats to reach an agreement that will reopen the government. 

"I want the shutdown to end separately (from) anything that has to do with immigration," Candler said.

Federal leaders have promised back pay to affected workers.


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Posted by KPRC2 Ryan Korsgard on Tuesday, January 15, 2019


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