The government shutdown is hitting close to home for many New Yorkers who are out of work as a result, including one Queens man who is hoping it ends soon. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
Paul Sacker usually wouldn't be hanging out in his Little Neck neighborhood on a Wednesday morning, but the engineer for the Environmental Protection Agency has been furloughed.
"We feel like as federal employees we are being treated as pawns," he said.
Sacker is a father of two and President of Local 3911 of the American Federation of Government Employees. He says 700 workers and 150 managers in the EPA's New York Region are out of work. He reported to the office Tuesday to clean out his desk and turn off his computer before being told to leave.
"We all are going to be staying home watching the news, watching the Internet, trying to see if there is any change," Sacker said.
Sacker says this shutdown could have serious repercussions affecting not only government agencies but local businesses.
"Estimates are that the impact to this shutdown are going to far outweigh the Obamacare which is supposedly the trigger for all of this," said Sacker. "The impact from this shutting down and reducing people's salaries. Even if we get paid retroactively in a few weeks, if that even occurs, and there is no guarantee of that, there is no money right now being pumped into the economy."
Sacker says with one child in college and a mortgage, times could be tough if the shutdown doesn't end soon. He says he may have to dip into his savings account to cover everyday expenses.
"Call Congress, call your representatives, call the president, urge them to bring an end to this shutdown," Sacker urged.
Sacker also said in the coming days furloughed employees could be walking informational picket lines outside federal buildings if they can't get inside to work.