Businesses Cater To Furloughed Government Workers

In Washington, D.C., dozens of businesses are running shutdown specials for government employees. Furloughed workers can head to several local eateries for a cup of coffee, cupcakes and even pizza — all free when they show a government ID.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

This may be a moment to appreciate federal employees, often dismissed as bureaucrats. They're the targets of frustration, and they only make headlines when something goes wrong.

MONTAGNE: Yet many also steadily serve their country, some risk their lives. And if you travel overseas, you quickly encounter places where people can only wish to have a government that functions so well. Today, hundreds of thousands of those workers are off the job while 535 of their bosses continue a standoff.

Those affected include Mike Trenchard(ph), at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

(SOUNDBITE OF A SIGH)

MIKE TRENCHARD: I'm frustrated with my Congress. I'm one of the lucky ones that's going to be continuing to work. Most of my colleagues won't be there, so it's going to be kind of a lonely place.

HEATHER PIZAMELIO: Absolute frustration. My name is Heather Pizamelio. I'm an analyst for the Department of the Navy. We got hit with the sequestration. Now we're on furlough and I'm - I don't know what to expect. I'm a conservative, so speaking to my conservative Hill members - stop messing around and stop putting us at risk.

JOHN JOYO: Shame on them. Shame on the U.S. Congress. Shipyarders got thick skin. You know? I mean we understand, it's the politics of it all. But it's unfortunate that we're being used as political pawns in this game.

MONTAGNE: And that shipyarder was John Joyo of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

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