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Federal employees in El Paso furloughed

“I came over her to pay my taxes,” said resident Gildbert Zuniga. “I was getting ready to go in and I asked ‘is the IRS closed?’ and they said yes and then I realized why.”

Tuesday morning federal employees in El Paso realized the partial government shutdown they feared had happened.

“We’ve been preparing for this for six months,” said Tom Hillburger, the division manager of the district court. Informing them with what could possibly happen with the possibility of layoffs, furloughs, government shutdowns.”

Hillburger said the court has hired anyone new, or replaced anyone that’s left anticipating a potential shutdown.

In the meantime they’ve been short staffed, but he said they’re in better shape now because of it. With the help of court fees, the federal court can remain in tact and operating for 10 days. But once the money runs out, over 70 people will lose their jobs.

“We have a lot of people who like anyone else, they need the income for children, college, medical or whatever day-to-day express so everybody’s concerned about it and we hope that Congress and the President get together and its settled by then,” Hillburger said.

The situation is just as bleak for El Paso border patrol. Agents still have to report to work, but aren’t getting paid. Fort Bliss is going through 3,700 civilian employees, determining who can work and who stays home. This includes Beaumont Medical Center.

“Congressmen and the senators, they get paid so they don’t care if the government is shutdown,” Zuniga said.

At the Federal building the IRS and US Attorney offices are completely vacant.
Person and person was turned away, shocked to think the arguments far away in Washington mean people won’t be able to pay there bills in the borderland.

“How do these people expect people to live? It’s really ridiculous. I’m thinking about those 800,000 people that don’t have a job,” Zuniga said.

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