Utah federal workers panicked at the thought of another shutdown


    In Utah, federal workers are panicked at the thought of, once again, being without work. (Photo: KUTV)

    Monday was a critical day for lawmakers on Capitol Hill as another government shutdown looms. Negotiations must be reached by Friday at midnight to avoid the second partial shutdown this year.

    Back here in Utah, federal workers are panicked at the thought of, once again, being without work.

    Monday was the first day back for IRS worker Jasmin Holmes. As a non-essential employee, she was furloughed back in November.

    “We’re both pretty much freaked out,” Holmes said.

    She and her mom, Charlotte Garner, both work for the IRS. Garner returned back to work a week before the government reopened, but the time without pay took a major hit on her savings.

    “With both of us being shut down, it was really hard. I was just lucky to have a little bit of savings,” Garner said.

    Both women are trying to get their finances back on track and the thought of another shutdown is horrifying to them.

    “I’ve worked for the government for a long time and haven’t really experienced this,” Garner said fighting back tears. She’s worked for the government for 19 years, but still has no sense of security.

    “It’s really frustrating,” she said. “We worry about food, we worry about keeping our house. We don’t want to lose the house.”

    Garner and her daughter just bought their Riverdale home in October. They made their first house payment in December, just ahead of the shutdown.

    Racked with uncertainty, the two are working to stay positive.

    “We watch the news and wait for Friday,” Garner said, “just hope for the best.”

    A bipartisan group of lawmakers said they had reached an "agreement in principle" to fund the government on Monday night. It would still need to be approved by Congress and President Donald Trump to avoid the looming shutdown.

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