Federal workers protest at Senate office building

Federal workers protest at Senate office building
© Greg Nash

Federal workers gathered Wednesday at the Hart Senate Office Building to protest the ongoing government shutdown, which has left hundreds of thousands of them without pay.

The workers held 33 minutes of silent protest, or one minute for each day the shutdown has lasted. 

Protesters shook their fists and chanted, "No more food banks. We need paychecks."

They also held paper plates with messages written on them such as "open the government" and "federal workers are going hungry." The plates were reportedly meant to symbolize that some workers can't feed their families without pay.

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Among the organizers of the union were the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), a federal employee union, and the AFL-CIO, a federation of unions.

Following the silent protest, AFGE National President J. David Cox and other union leaders marched to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHoyer signals House vote on bill to 'remove' debt limit threat Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE's (R-Ky.) office. 

The federal government has been in a partial shutdown since Dec. 22, with President TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE and Democrats at odds over Trump's demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a wall along the southern border.

Trump has refused to sign any bill to fund the government that doesn't include wall funding, while Democrats have vowed not to approve funding for the wall.

The Senate is set to vote Thursday on two proposals to reopen the government, including one that would provide the wall funding.