Bustos Works the Phones During "Unfair" Shutdown

October  07, 2013

Quad Cities Congresswoman Cheri Bustos says the federal government shutdown is "unconscionable" and "unfair."  Since the partial shutdown began, the representative from Illinois' 17th District has been calling state and local elected officials, and answering calls from residents who need her help. "I feel tremendously for them. I had a call from a woman named Amy who's worked for the Rock Island Arsenal for 15 years. She loves her job but is considering a change in careers because of the uncertainty."

Over the weekend, the U.S. House passed legislation to pay federal workers retroactively. Bustos says at least that gives them some peace of mind. The East Moline congresswoman also blames republicans and House Speaker John Boehner. She says he should allow members to vote on funding the government and negotiate later. "When there's talk that this is about the Affordable Care Act, I know there are issues. And democrats are willing to negotiate, but let's get the government going first."

On Saturday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel decided to send most of the department's 350,000 furloughed employees back to work. He cited a law that exempts civilians from the government shutdown, if they're contributing to "military morale or readiness."