AFGE says hundreds of federal workers could still lose money as government reopens

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The government shutdown is coming to an end but Hoosiers are still feeling the effects. A local representative for a federal employee union tells CBS4 hundreds of Indiana workers could still lose money.

“Federal workers are dedicated employees and they want to do their job,” said Arnold Scott of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).

The AFGE is the largest federal employee union and represents hundreds of government workers in Indiana.

“We have employees in all of the federal agencies,” said Scott.

On Monday, Senate Democrats and Republicans agreed on a bill to keep the government open for the next three weeks. Scott says it’s just a short-term fix for a big problem for federal workers.

“If it passes, it is only until February 8 and then we are back at it again. They just need to pass a budget and cut all this silliness because federal workers deserve better,” said Scott.

The agency tells CBS4 many government employees will not receive pay even if they worked through the shutdown. They will not be paid unless Congress passes legislation addressing the issue. Representatives say some could lose their entire paycheck.

“Federal government employees are not people that you do not know. They are your next-door neighbors and they are just as any other worker. They have bills that they have to pay,” said Scott.

For now, Scott says dozens of federal workers are calling his office looking for help during this uncertain time.

The Senate has started a vote to advance the bill reopening the government. It is expected to pass, and House approval is expected later.

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