Government shutdown has Austin workers missing first paychecks
Three weeks into the partial government shutdown and on Friday federal workers missed their first paycheck since the shutdown started. On Saturday, it will become the longest shutdown in US history. One Austin IRS worker says her bills are piling up while her bank balance drops.
"It's a big hit," said Lyn Hillman.
The Austin mother is on her own. "It's just me. I'm a single mom," said Hillman.
For her, the timing of this partial government shutdown couldn't be worse. "I was supposed to be on sick leave for six weeks to have cancer surgery and four days into my sick leave the government shut down," said Hillman.
That means her sick leave was canceled and like 800,000 other federal employees she didn't get a paycheck on what should have been the first payday of the year. "We're being held hostage and we're not being treated with respect," said Hillman.
Hillman is an attorney for the IRS. This is her third federal shutdown and as of tomorrow it will be the longest one she's had to struggle through. "The childcare bills don't stop because you're not getting paid. The mortgage payment doesn't stop because you're not getting paid," said Hillman.
And she has fewer options than many other government workers. "I can't really get another job because I'm recovering from major surgery," said Hillman.
Frustration is growing with each passing day as workers worry how many more paychecks they'll miss. "You watch that balance on the checking account go down and down and down and you don't know when it's going to get a refill," said Hillman.