WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - As the U.S. enters day 26 of the government shutdown, both frustration and tempers are starting to boil over.
At the Capitol on Wednesday, angry federal workers walked the halls of Congress trying to get Democrats and Republicans to end the standoff – and put them back to work.
Faye Smith of Oxon Hill, Md. was among the federal workers who are at their wit’s end.
Smith is a furloughed security guard at the Smithsonian. Smith is running out of money, she can’t pay her bills, and she is growing more scared by the day.
“We’re going to foodbanks. I am going to McDonalds trying to apply for a job. I’m going everywhere, I don’t even have a watch because I went to the pawnshop giving my jewelry away just to make ends meet, and I have my rent coming up and I have no money to pay for it,” Smith said
Smith was one of dozens of furloughed federal contract workers who descended on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday.
Many of those who went to McConnell’s office left copies of bills they can’t pay because they aren’t receiving an income during the partial shutdown.
In a meeting with furloughed workers, Maryland Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin announced that they’ve teamed up on a bill to insure backpay for government contractors. Meanwhile, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham says he’s still trying to get the President to re-open the government briefly while border wall talks continue
“After past shutdowns, there’s never been any provision to make sure that all of you who also want to go to work every day and have been shut out of work – That you’re not being punished,” Van Hollen said.
"I think there's a growing group of Senators on the Democratic side who do not share Nancy Pelosi's view. You get a dollar for the wall, and that's it. There are plenty of Democrats who are willing to help the President meet his priorities in a reasonable fashion if they get something too,” Graham said.
Meanwhile, the State of the Union speech might wind up being the next casualty of the shutdown.
On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to President Trump seeking a delay to the State of the Union Address planned for Tuesday, Jan. 29.