D.C.

Government Shutdown 2013: Furloughed federal contractors won't receive back pay

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They don’t work at the Capitol or carry government ID’s, but federal contractors are hurting from the shutdown just as much as federal employees.

"This is my only income and this is hitting me really hard -- I imagine it is a lot of other people [too]," says Arianna Bocci, who works for a D.C. company contracted by the FAA – though she's not working at the moment.

"I like to work and sitting at home is not for me," she continues.

Bocci is headed home to Nashville for a few days, frustrated by the shutdown and what it means for contractors like her.

"While I'm thankful everyone else will be reimbursed, we're not," Bocci explains.

While legislation is moving forward to provide back pay for furloughed federal workers, contract workers likely won't be as fortunate. With the government shutdown, money isn’t going out to contractors, meaning employees won't get paid.

"It's difficult to make the call and say, 'Don't show up to work you're not gonna get a paycheck," says Dave Harden.

Harden is the COO of Melwood, a nonprofit in Upper Marlboro that provides jobs for people with disabilities and for wounded warriors. The loss of $350,000 in federal funding each week means 272 contracted workers cannot work.

The federal government doles out more than an estimated $500 billion a year to federal contractors, who then employ millions of people across the country.

Arianna Bocci is one of them, and expresses an opinion on Congress likely shared by man:

"I think it's sad that a few hundred people have taken thousands and thousands of peoples' paychecks in their hands and they don't care."

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