Government shutdown taking paychecks away from SWFL workers
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Oct. 10, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Ten days in and no end in sight for the government shutdown. For some in Southwest Florida, that means ten days without a paycheck. It's not just federal employees affected, either.
For 20 or so employees at Tarpon Bay Explorers, they've been forced out of a job even though they work for a private company. Workers offer tours through Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, which has been closed from the shutdown.
"It's ten days of not getting paid, and of course that's sinking into savings," said full-time employee Mari Hanley.
For the last ten years, Hanley spends her Thursdays giving eco-tours through Ding Darling. Today, she was at home, feeling frustrated with Congress.
"I'm pretty upset with some of the folks that represent us here," Hanley said. "You care about family, you care about the jobs and then you put people out of work and people are hurting, and pretty soon I'm going to be hurting."
Hanley doesn't understand why it's so difficult for leaders to compromise.
Fox 4 took Hanley's concerns to congressman Trey Radel. Here's his statement:
“I have been working with my colleagues in the House through late nights and weekends to get the government open, even passing a bill that would re-open National Parks, like Ding Darling. However, no compromise has been good enough for the Senate, and until they are willing to come to the negotiating table much of the government will stay shutdown. It is my hope that Majority Leader Reid will follow our lead and pass legislation opening parks like Ding Darling.”
With no end in sight, Hanley and hundreds of thousands of other Americans remain on edge, uncertain of what's to come.
"I need to have an income... this is hurting us," she said.