By Eric Baradat, AP REPORT
Government employees on Wednesday (Dec. 26) rebuked President Trump’s claim that “many” of them told him to “stay out until you get the funding for the wall,” according to a report from the New York Daily News.
As a result of Trump’s inability to come to an agreement with Congress over border wall funding, 420,000 government employees are reportedly currently working without pay and 380,000 more aren’t working at all. The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents more than 700,000 federal workers, spoke out against the shutdown Wednesday, noting that there “should be no confusion” about how federal employees feel about being out of a paying job.
“They are eager to get back to work,” the federation’s president, Jeffrey David Cox Sr., said in a statement. “They unequivocally oppose using shutdowns as a means of resolving policy disputes. This is not about a wall, this is about 800,000 real people with real families and real bills to pay,” he said.
Trump argued on Tuesday that thousands of workers being furloughed due to the shutdown wanted the government to remain closed until lawmakers are able to approve funding his long-desired wall.
“Many of those workers have said to me, communicated, stay out until you get the funding for the wall. These federal workers want the wall,” the president said.
Trump did not specify who the employees were or what offices they worked for.
Paul Shearon, who currently serves as the president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers – which represents 80,000 federal employees – also blasted Trump’s claim as “false” in a statement seen by this local newspaper.
“We have not heard from a single member who supports the President’s inaction,” Shearon said. “Most view this as an act of ineptitude.”