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‘Pushed things back for me:’ People turned around at Federal Building on Day 3 of government shutdown

MILWAUKEE -- The Senate voted Monday, Jan. 22 on a short-term spending plan which is expected to pass in the House, effectively ending the government shutdown after two days. Even though the shutdown was brief, it affected millions of people across the country, including those in the Milwaukee area.

"They told us it was a government shutdown so they wasn't issuing out anything," Jaquitta Grafton said.

Jaquitta Grafton and Shaudai Evans

The budget battle in Washington prevented Grafton and Shaudai Evans from ordering Social Security cards on Monday morning.

"I have to get this for my rent," Evans said.

They said they were turned around inside the Federal Building on W. Wisconsin Ave. because the department was closed.

"I mean, it pushed things back for me because I'm trying to leave in 20 days," Evans said.

"This is really bad democracy," Mordecai Lee, UW-Milwaukee professor said.

Lee on Monday followed the impacts of the government shutdown.

Mordecai Lee

"Today people will see lots of things shut down that they don't necessarily immediately interact with," Lee said.

What lawmakers consider to be "essential" federal workers returned to work on Monday while thousands were placed on furlough, basically forced to go on unpaid leave. During past government shutdowns, furloughed workers received back pay after lawmakers in Washington reached an agreement. That's something Lee said he's not sure will be so simple this time around.

"I'm not sure that's going to happen. There is such deep-seated animosity in Washington between the two parties," Lee said.

For Grafton and Evans, the shutdown was an inconvenience they're following closely.

"Now I just have to sit back and wait," Evans said.

 

The new proposal would fund the government through Feb. 8. Before the government can reopen, the House must approve the spending bill and it then goes to President Donald Trump's desk for a signature.