Donald Trump says that he can relate to the federal government employees who are not receiving a paycheck, whether they work or not. That is probably not true. He was a millionaire by the time he was three years old, thanks to scheming Fred Trump, his father. Besides, POTUS seems to genuinely believe that all federal workers are Democrats, seriously. That is disturbing insight into the president’s mind. Thank goodness for unions, though.
President of the National Treasury Employees Union Tony Reardon represents 150,000 people throughout 33 federal departments and agencies. He called Trump’s action “a travesty,” according to The Washington Post:
‘Federal employees should not have to pay the personal price for all of this dysfunction.’
The second union filed a lawsuit against Trump. The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) just filed a lawsuit against him. The first was the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) union. The suit claimed that the federal government had violated laws by forcing the “essential” federal workers to work without pay even though the government was closed for business.
“Essential” federal employees have been responsible for “performing emergency work involving the safety of human life or the protection of property,” such as FBI agents and air traffic controllers.
Now that the NTEU has filed suit, 400,000-plus federal employees have to work without pay. That is half of the number shut out during the partial government shutdown.
The lawsuit named the plaintiff Albert Vieira and other like employees and demanded they be paid. Vieira has been working as a Customs and Border Protection officer.
Trump shut down the government December 22, making this the second longest closure in the history of these United States. In a couple of more days, it will be the longest. Many federal agencies’ websites have a “closed for business” sign on them.
The president said that the people who are out of work agree with him. That is obviously not true. He has simply been lying — again. If Trump seriously believed that, he would give up all of his income from being president and all income from the businesses he owns.
People will be going three weeks without a paycheck. The last one that just came out was for $0.00. That means Americans are facing no rent money, no house payment, no car payments, and eventually no food.
This affects a huge swath of Americans. There are no people telling us which countries are safe travel destinations. Life- and-death health studies have been interrupted. Right now, individuals have no idea if inspectors are checking their meat or making payments for their children’s education.
This shutdown has just been Trump’s leverage to try to get his way, in this case his wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico. The president has never been told “no,” and those who tried have dropped away from this government one-by-one.
However, he has no idea how powerful and savvy House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is. She knows that should she and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) cave, Trump will just shut down the government every time he wants something.
This attempt by Trump to circumvent the House’s appropriations is an attempt to circumvent democracy. The commander-in-chief has also threatened to call a national emergency, too, even though that would be illegal.
Vieira continues to work his six days-a-week schedule. In the 16-day government shutdown in 2013, attorneys argued that if the government failed to pay federal workers for their regular work, that violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. The court ruled for the employees. In fact, it forced the government to pay those employees double their salary.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.