Government shutdown 2013: Furloughed federal workers want to work
Steve Pizzetti and his wife Laura Shick are both federal employees, both furloughed, both trying to pass the time at home - not working - and not getting paid.
They are just two of more than 800,000 federal workers on furlough until the government re-opens for business. More than 300,000 of those are in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia.
“It's not just numbers, these are people,” says Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin. “Each one is a family. Each one represents harm that's been done as a result of the shutdown.”
The cost of the shutdown continues to rise - and not just in dollars. While an agreement was reached to restore military death benefits, the Veterans Affairs secretary says nearly 4 million veterans won't get their disability compensation if the shutdown edges close to November.
“Thirty-seven percent of all federal employees in Virginia are veterans, so when you do a shutdown of government you are hurting veterans,” says Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.
But while the numbers are still be tallied en masse and the standoff continues on the Hill, many furloughed workers like Shick and Pizzetti have a simple message for members of Congress: I’d rather be working.
Realizing the longer they're forced to stay home, the longer it will take to get them and the country to get back on track when they finally return.
“We do have a mission and it's not getting done right now and we're going be behind when we do go back to work,” says Shick. “We have deadlines just like everybody else does.”