Two Oregon federal employees share struggles during government shutdown

Medford, Ore. – The government shutdown has now stretched to historic lengths, and Oregon lawmakers are speaking out about the effects it’s had on the state. It’s the longest government shutdown ever, and now national problems are trickling down to Oregonians like Jasmine Tool.

“I want everybody to understand how many different aspects of our daily lives are being affected by this and it’s not just these employees it’s their families as well,” government employee, Jasmine Tool said. “I have two small children and they depend on me for everything.”

And Austin Bessinger.

“I was supposed to be done on February 15th and if the shutdown goes past that I believe I get terminated,” government employee, Austin Bessinger said.

Furloughed employees are no longer able to pay their rent or bills.

“It’s definitely hard because you can’t make payments on anything, I’m supposed to be moved out here by February seventh because I can’t make payments on rent,” Bessinger said.

They’re also not able to access their health insurance.

“In the meantime, I live off 100% internal feeding nutrition for my condition gastroparesis, and my supplies come in one-week supplies at a time, and without medical insurance, I can’t afford my feeding supplies,” Tool said.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle calling for the end of the government shutdown.

“There is only one immediate solution, the shutdown must end and it must end now,” Senator Wyden said.

“We gotta get adults in the room on both sides in the room and work this out, there’s gotta be a solution to this,” Representative Walden said.

“This shutdown hurts America in every way possible,” Senator Merkley said.

With so much uncertainty, the lives of federal employees are essentially on pause.

“I tried to get unemployment but I have to look for another job and I’ve tried and I’ve applied other places but its hard because I have no idea if I’ll get called back into work next week, or I may not it’s just difficult,” Bessinger said.

They say all they want is to get back to work.

“I hope the shutdown ends, for Americans to be put in this situation is devastating,” Tool said.

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