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Miami Federal Workers Anxiously Await Budget Announcement

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Government Shutdown

(Source: AP)

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MIAMI (CBS4) – At the Claude Pepper Federal Building in downtown Miami Friday citizens and federal employees expressed anxiety and anger over the prospect of a shutdown of government at midnight if Congress can’t reach agreement on a budget.

“My big concern is if it actually does shut down, then we’re going to have a big crash in the stock market Monday morning,” said Miami-Dade resident Richa Sadana.

“You expect the money to go out to the government and for them to do their jobs,” said David Lavelle.  “This is one of those very frustrating things taking place in our society.”

Federal employees told CBS4 News they were worried and confused.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Maryanne Ford, a supervisor in the I.R.S.  office.  “My employees are nervous, but I just don’t know.”

Maria Lopez, an I.R.S. employee, said she was under a “shadow” of confusion and worry.

“I’m concerned, just like everybody else, that we’ll all be out of a job,” said Lopez.  “We have expenses and bills to pay and we don’t know what’s happening.”

Esther Guzman went to the federal building seeking help with her income taxes Friday, but she faces a delay in getting her refund check if the government closes.

“It’s a terrible situation,” said Guzman.  “With all the unemployment and everything, it’ a terrible situation right now for everybody.

Attorney Tamara McKeown was angry as she considered the deeply scaled-back services that will be available in federal courts if the shutdown occurs.

“I think it’s a travesty that we’re going to have people denied access to the courts because of the political partisanship, the maneuvering, the gamesmanship that’s going on in Washington right now,” McKeown said.

At the People’ Barbecue Restaurant Friday, many people were angry.

“They could do a better job of coming together,” said George Lewis of the gridlock in the Capitol.  “This is not right.  This is going to hurt a lot of people.”

Political pollster and analyst Fernand Amandi of Bendixen and Associates said politicians on both sides of the aisles in Washington should beware of potential backlash, as polls show increasing voter disapproval with government in general.  Bendixen noted the recall of Miami-Dade’s mayor and a county commissioner as evidence of a potent discontent.

Commenting on the gridlock in Washington, Amandi said, “There are no winners here.  I think neither side stands to benefit from a government shutdown.  That’s why you see the negotiations so intense leading up to the final hours.”

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