January 7, 2019/Press

Sen. Thom Tillis Silent as Government Shutdown Hammers NC Workers

Raleigh – As the government shutdown enters its third week, people across North Carolina continue to be hit hard by the Trump administration’s decision to shut down the federal government. Yet the person supposed to be advocating for them, Senator Thom Tillis, is silent even as other vulnerable Republican senators call to end the shutdown.

“People across North Carolina are hurting from this pointless government shutdown yet Senator Tillis refuses to help them,” NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said. “With the U.S. House passing legislation to end the shutdown, Senator Tillis has a clear choice: reopen the government by passing a bill he already supported or show voters why they should toss him out in 2020.”

Here’s how the shutdown is affecting people across North Carolina:

WTVD: “’Working for free; I hate it:’ Government shutdown hits NC workers hard”

“I hate it. I hate going to work every day knowing what I do for a living… I’m not being duly paid for it,” [Butner Federal Prison correctional officer Jon] Franklin said.

“I mean I’ve already reached out to my creditors and everything. But still, they’re not getting paid and I’m not getting any money so that I can pay them,” [Franklin] said. “Either way, I’m losing.”

News & Observer: “Federal workers in RTP feeling the bite of the shutdown. If it drags on, others will too.”

“We’re kind of treading water right now, but we can’t tread water much longer,” David Smith, chief deputy commissioner with the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said Thursday in a phone interview. “We’re already hearing from farmers who are pretty desperate for relief money.”

WRAL: “NC farmers struggle with government shutdown”

“We are on deadlines. We have dates that we are supposed to do things and (it’s) pretty obvious, we can’t do it when the office is closed,” said Fuquay-Varina farmer Ricky Sears. “Not only do we need to give any wheat reports and stuff like that, but if there’s any money involved that can’t be gotten either.”

CBS17: “NC farmers pressure lawmakers on partial government shutdown”

“It was a horrendous year. Farmers are trying to make plans for next year, and this is just another brick in the wagon that they’re trying to have to drag along behind them,” said Peter Daniel with the North Carolina Farm Bureau. “It makes life more difficult.”

Star-News: “From GenX to Florence recovery, NC braces for shutdown impacts”

“Should the federal government shut down stretch beyond March, DEQ could lose nearly 75 full-time employees in multiple divisions, including Air Quality, Waste Management and Water Resources” – NC DEQ spokeswoman

Winston Salem Journal: “Our view: Shutdown’s effect on parks is shameful”

Closer to home, the shutdown is affecting national parks across northeast North Carolina, WAVY of Hampton Roads, Va., reported last week. The situation is much the same, with parks remaining unsupervised and unserviced but open.

North Carolina has 14 national parks, sites, heritage centers or trails, stretching from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Outer Banks. Until the foolish shutdown is ended and park staffs have a chance to get their bearings, we suggest avoiding them, or at least approaching with caution.

Associated Press: “Federal shutdown prompts judge to freeze hog nuisance trials”

The partial government shutdown is prompting the postponement of a trial by a federal judge managing lawsuits accusing the world’s largest pork company of creating nuisances for rural North Carolina neighbors.

Blue Ridge Now: “Gov. Cooper: Shutdown threatens funds for hurricane recovery, SNAP benefits”

“Each day the federal government shutdown continues, it delays long-term funds needed for Hurricane Florence recovery and threatens to hold up vital services for North Carolina families,” Cooper said in a news release. “President Trump and members of Congress must work together to resolve the shutdown quickly and responsibly.”