EUGENE, Ore. — After 16 days furloughed, federal employees are back to work and national parks are back open.
But even though local residents are happy the government’s reopened, many say they’re really unhappy that the government closed its doors more than two weeks ago.
As government employees get back to work, it meant an end to a very stressful 16 days for furloughed employee and USDA State Director Vicki Walker.
“Everything came to an end. We were in the middle of projects. We had housing loans hanging in the balance, and we couldn’t even answer our emails. We couldn’t turn on our phones or equipment, none of that. We could’ve gone to jail,” Walker said.
Even those not directly impacted by the shutdown say they were frustrated with the deadlock.
“The shutdown actually kind of shocked me for the first time in 17 years, and I was just really shocked,” said Eugene resident Jesse Frania.
“I think it was an unfortunate attempt to try and gain a particular course of action, and I think it was a misuse of congressional bargaining power,” said Eugene resident Craig Willis.
Many people say it’s bittersweet that a deal has been reached, since it’s only temporary.
“Come January they’ve sat down and they’ve figured something out so we don’t have this again three months down the road. It’s just sort of like kicking a can down the road, and we’re there again. Hopefully they’ll do something this time so that it doesn’t happen again,” said Eugene resident Thomas Simmons.
“The continuing resolutions need to end,” Willis said.
Even if temporary, it’s a solution that will allow Walker and 800,000 other federal employees to get back to work.
“The economy came to a halt, and so I think everyone breathed a sigh of relief. We’re ready to go. We’ve got a lot to do before the end of the calendar year,” Walker said.
The House and Senate’s resolution will fund the government, but only until mid-January.