Middletown resident continued working for five weeks without pay during federal government shutdown WASHINGTON – Jamie Green, an Aquidneck Island resident and air traffic controller at T.F. Green International Airport who was forced to work for 35 days without pay during the recent partial government shutdown, will join Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) as his guest for President Trump’s State of the Union Address tomorrow night.
«Either the President didn’t know, or he didn’t care, that shutting down the government hurt hundreds of thousands of working families like Jamie’s,» said Cicilline. «Now he’s threatening another shutdown in one week. This cannot happen. Working men and women should never be used as bargaining chips by the President. I’m hoping that Jamie’s attendance will remind the President that his reckless governing style comes with a human toll attached.»
Jamie Green, who served five years in the U.S. Navy, was forced to work without pay for the duration of the shutdown, along with her husband Gordon, who also works as an air traffic control at T.F. Green. Jamie has been an FAA employee since September 2006. She and her husband, who is a native of Newport, have lived in Middletown for more than a decade. They reside there with their two children today.
«I’m honored to be attending the State of the Union with Congressman Cicilline this week,» said Jamie. «After missing two paychecks as a result of the federal government shutdown, I hope that this is something no other working man or woman ever has to go through.»
President Trump kept 25% of the federal government shutdown after rejecting a bipartisan spending proposal that did not include money for the construction of a new wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The President’s decision resulted in 800,000 air traffic controllers, FBI agents, TSA workers, and more being forced to either work without pay or stay home during the duration of the shutdown. Figures released by the Labor Department last Friday found that the shutdown pushed the unemployment rate up to 4% – the highest level since last June.
The President eventually backed down after 35 days, although he has raised the possibility of shutting down the government again on February 15th if Congress denies his demand for wall funding again. If that occurs, hundreds of thousands of air traffic controllers, FBI agents, TSA workers and more will once again face the possibility of missing paychecks.
Cicilline, who serves in House Leadership as Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, called on President Trump to keep the government open this time around, saying, «Keeping the government open is the most basic responsibility a president has. I hope that President Trump now understands that there is no such thing as a ‘good shutdown.’ He needs to come to the table and ensure that this kind of thing never happens again on his watch.»