WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - The Department of Labor has denied a request by Mayor Muriel Bowser to offer unemployment benefits to federal workers who are working without pay.
Bowser sent a letter urging Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta requesting a waiver granting federal employees who are deemed excepted or essential, which requires them to work without receiving a paycheck, to claim unemployment insurance.
Any hard-working, dedicated public servant should never have to make a decision between paying their mortgage and buying groceries.— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) January 17, 2019
We urge the @realDonaldTrump administration to work with DC Gov and allow excepted or essential federal workers to claim unemployment insurance. pic.twitter.com/cdvOOgNThc
The Department of Labor denied the request.
"They have to pay to get to work. They have to pay for their commute, pay to eat lunch, make sure their kids have childcare and they are getting no paycheck and we think not being able to tap into unemployment insurance is especially cruel," Bowser. “We were in shock and we were just trying to do all that we can.”
Friday marked Day 28 of the government shutdown as Democrats, Republicans and President Donald Trump continue to spare over border security with no resolution in sight.
As the shutdown, which is already the longest in the nation’s history, drags on, the impact in the nation’s capital is visible.
Blocks that were once filled with food trucks to feed federal works are now nearly empty as food truck owners are feeling the pinch of the shutdown also.
"It has really impacted us a lot really because from the start of the furlough we’ve seen our sales decrease by 40 percent,” food truck owner Mike Lewis said. "We are not making enough sales to cover our expenses."
Metro also reports its hemorrhaging money, losing $400,000 per day during the shutdown. Metro's general manager sent a letter to senators representing Maryland and Virginia warning the lawmakers of the new daily deficit. The shutdown, Paul Wiedefeld warned, was losing revenue while the struggling system is still attempting to claw its way back from years of decline.
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