Hugs and anger among returning Capitol workers
October 17th, 2013
09:29 AM ET
6 months ago

Hugs and anger among returning Capitol workers

Washington (CNN) - In the basement of the U.S. Capitol, where much of the building's support staff arrived for work on Thursday, the first day back at full staffing in two weeks, was a mix of exuberant welcome back hugs and deeply held bitterness toward the men and women in charge upstairs.

"Hey! Good to see you!," sang out one staffer who'd been on the job during the shutdown as a furloughed friend walked back into the building. Just a few feet away, another worker was slapping the back of a colleague. Both had been furloughed.

The joy of workers returning was mixed with deep frustration. A common refrain from staffers who work across the Capitol–from food services to administrative staff–was a sarcastic question, "how was your vacation?"

The response often was non-verbal. An eye roll. A head shake. An angry glare. Occasionally an ironic laugh.

One Capitol staffer, who was not allowed to speak to reporters on the record, confided, "people are really glad to see each other again, but we're really angry about what happened."


Filed under: Congress • Government Shutdown
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Sebastien

    Am I in the minority? Is it just me that sees that the Republican Party needs to give a little on revenues and the Democratic Party needs to give a little on entitlements? Please Congress, find another way to set electoral districts rather than creating the “echo-chamber” politics that lead to nothing but gridlock. Find an independent way of “setting the lines” rather than making the process just another self-serving political football, wasting precious time and resources. A child with graph paper and a map can do more to fix our governance than what we have now.

    October 17, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Let's see which, if any, of the Republicans will offer a public apology to the federal workers? I actually expect Sen. Ted Cruz to offer up an apology for the despicable behavior of the Democrats during this Tea Party driven, shutdown fiasco.

    October 17, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Malory Archer: "A Democrat won a state senate seat here in Florida on Tuesday evening that had NEVER been won by a Dem before. Her county/district is solidly red, so this is HUUUUUUGE!!!"

    Indeed it is, Malory. Kudos to all who helped get Amanda Murphy elected.

    October 17, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Searcher

    Look, a whole new 700,000 Democrat voters have been created by the TEA-PARTY'S ARROGANCE!

    October 17, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    DM4O wrote:

    2. This shutdown was brought to you courtesy of a small group of men and one freshman senator who felt that holding
    the country hostage as well as our economy was the best way to repeal, defund, or delay the law of the land, the
    ACA. They chose to completely bypass the democratic processes put in place to accomplish their goal. They do not
    want Americans to have affordable healthcare, at least not while this President is in office.
    -------------------------
    I would like to chastise you for blaming "men", but unfortunately you are 100% in the know, and in the right. I have visions of that birth control hearing the Tea Party House had conducted before an all male committee, and a roll call of men to testify.

    October 17, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  6. smith

    oh boo hoo, the workers will get back paid. They basically got 2 weeks off of work.

    October 17, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  7. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    We elected Cory Booker in NJ over a Tea Party loon. Keep up the good work Republicans!

    October 17, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. S. B. Stein

    Many workers that were furloughed are the average American that wants to do the job that he or she was hired to do. If I had some control over who was furloughed, I would have all military, all law enforcement and all those that collect any fees, taxes or other sort of money be considered essential employees.

    October 17, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  9. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @Sebastien
    Am I in the minority? Is it just me that sees that the Republican Party needs to give a little on revenues and the Democratic Party needs to give a little on entitlements?

    In his first term, President Obama was willing to negotiate "entitlements" with the GOP which angered his base, including me. It turned out that the GOP wanted more and more and the President got sick of their silly games. The question is, why are "entitlements" something to be whittled away by the GOP? I have worked full time for 40 years and contributed every paycheck to these programs. How dare these thugs even suggest playing with my family's financial well being when billions of dollars worth of tax breaks are given to corporations and the wealthiest people in the country?

    October 17, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |