Federal Workers Cut Back As Shutdown Enters Week 2

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Communities across the nation are feeling the impact of the partial government shutdown. To learn more, Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep turn to Americans from all corners of the country to hear how they're coping with a closed government.


OK. Supreme Court justices go back to work. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees remain at home because of the shutdown. Aaron Poe is one of them living in Anchorage Alaska.


He's a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Like so many others, he says an extended shutdown will hit his family's budget.

AARON POE: My wife's mom did move in with us this past summer, so we kind of joke that her small retirement check is really the only income that's coming into our house right now. When we need gas money, we have to come to grandma to ask for it.

INSKEEP: Now Mr. Paul's family of four, plus grandma, has already cut back on groceries and eating out and bigger cuts could come.

POE: We have kind of drafted a list of things around the house that we could sell. I mean it sounds may be somewhat silly, and I guess I worry it making it sound like a pity party. But two of the things at the top of our list, our wedding silver, our 12th anniversary. That's something we don't necessarily need. My wife hasn't worn her engagement ring in years. That certainly has value that we could look at selling and paying our bills.

MONTAGNE: Aaron Poe says there is one fan in the family of the government shutdown, his four-year-old son. They're building Lego castles together and going for troops in their canoe. Poe says that is keeping him what he calls - positive - about the challenges ahead.


MONTAGNE: And you're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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