ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The deadline to negotiate a government budget is just 11 days away. Fear is growing as Feb. 15 gets closer, especially for federal workers who still haven’t received all of their back pay.
Randall Baker is a TSA agent at Tampa International Airport and the shutdown hit his family of three hard.
"For me and my wife it was stressful. Theo, obviously, my son, he had no clue, he's 10 months old. So he had no clue. But I'm sure he felt the stress.”
The shutdown last 35 days, but Baker said the effects are lasting far longer than that.
“The way that the shutdown hit, December is still owed. I owe January now. February will be coming due in about a week. So I mean it's funny, 35 days turned into three months of struggle now."
Baker has received one back-pay check, but it's not enough.
“I mean what I got paid, I can only cover my mortgage, for one month.” And because of the pay-out structure, he says he lost out. “They also hit us with double deductions on that paycheck. So what would have been 120 hours worth of pay, is basically back down to what we would originally get for one paycheck. Because almost 50 percent of my check is gone.”
And Baker says if another government shutdown is on the horizon, he will have to make a change.
“Me and my wife already talked about it, if it happens again, I'll have to just drop it and find somewhere else to work. Cause like, even, the idea of picking up another job. It's not even fair. It's less time with the family."
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