Furloughed federal employees in N.J. urge Congress to end shutdown

The federal government shutdown is having an impact in New Jersey, and some of the people affected by it are hoping it ends soon.

East Orange resident Larry Hirsch is among the thousands of federal workers in the Garden State furloughed without pay because of the shutdown.

“I myself am making difficult financial choices already,” he said Thursday. “Certain bills that come due every month, the paycheck is not there. My family and I have to dip into savings.”

About 33,000 federal workers in the Garden State have been furloughed, creating a ripple effect, said Charlie Wowkanech, president of the AFL-CIO in New Jersey.

“Those families have to pull back and are having serious trouble meeting their mortgage obligations, their children’s college tuition,” he said. “And certainly they’re not spending the money in the local economy.”

Small businesses might not be able to get loans because the SBA has stopped processing applications.

Wowkanech and some of the furloughed federal workers are urging members of Congress to work together to end the shutdown.

Hirsch said he want to get back to work at HUD monitoring grants for community development and groups that help the homeless. Because of the furloughs, he said, some of the most vulnerable residents will not be able to get the money they need.

He joined labor representatives and elected officials at the Statehouse in Trenton Thursday to urge members of Congress to work together and find a way of ending the government shutdown.

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