Editorial: Thank you to government workers — we appreciate you

Published 10:16 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Today is the 25th day of the partial federal government shutdown. Whether you agree or disagree with what is taking place in our country and the reasoning behind it, it is important to remember there are people who are affected by this — even people in our own community.

Though Minnesota has a smaller percentage of federal employees compared to other states, there are still 16,795 federal workers in the state, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Federal employees across the nation include people who work for the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the Treasury Department. There are employees who work for the Department of Agriculture, who make sure our food is safe to eat, and others who work for the Health and Human Services Department, among others.

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Across the nation, the largest number of federal government employees work for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Some employees are not able to work at all. Other employees are deemed “essential” in that their jobs are critical but they will not be paid until the shutdown is over.

Regardless, all are in a rough place right now as they navigate their lives through this shutdown.

This is only one of the groups this shutdown is effecting, and there will surely be more to come the longer this continues.

We encourage U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith and U.S. House Rep. Jim Hagedorn to be a part of the solution for ending what is now the longest shutdown in U.S. history.