ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Nationally, 800,000 federal employees are expected to be sent home Tuesday after congressional lawmakers were unable to reach a budget deal, prompting the first federal government shutdown in 17 years.
In St. Louis, between 10,000 and 15,000 federal workers are being affected by the government shutdown and some plan to protest today.
Steven Hollis, President of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 3354, tells KMOX News that this shutdown affects everyone, not just government workers.
“Current Social Security checks are essential and those will continue to go out, same with veterans’ benefits, but in both cases new claims for Social Security or veterans’ benefits will not be processed. Missouri has 487,000 veterans,” Hollis explained.
The union plans a protest for later today at the Federal Center on Goodfellow Blvd. on the city’s north side.
Hollis says it’s ironic that some federal workers won’t be paid but outside contractors will.
“It’s one of the many ways in which Congress has allowed a very unfair situation to develop in that contractors really outnumber federal workers,” he said.