Vienna Julien can’t understand why her U.S. Coast Guard husband has spent 35 days working with no pay, so how could she begin to explain it to her young son?
"We’re like, 'You can’t have your afternoon snack, you got to get something different or whatever,' so it’s breaking up his routine a little bit but they don’t understand,” said Julien. "So it’s more of us just stressing out.”
Julien was glad to hear there’s now movement in The White House border wall impasse.
"After these three weeks, we could be stuck right back in the same position," added Julien.
It’s the uncertainty that has a lot of federal government workers still stressing.
"There’s a certain uneasiness among federal workers that the government may be shut down again,” said Freddie Cuellar, the Houston president of the TSA branch of the AFGE union. "They might be in the same position again.”
Getting back to normal won’t be easy for a lot of federal workers.
The two paychecks they are owed might already be spent to pay bills and other necessities.
"I would totally agree that money is already gone,” added Cuellar.
Workers are being told paychecks are being expedited but no one is saying exactly when they will get the money owed to them.
"They said make sure we are still using resources like help and stuff, just in case we don’t get all of our money back or in case this drags on longer,” said Julien. The mother of two young children hopes lawmakers will consider a taste of their own medicine.
"I think they should pass a bill where Congress doesn’t get paid during shutdowns because if we’re not getting a paycheck, they shouldn’t get a paycheck,” said Julien.