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 McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Dem candidates sell policy as smart politics Overnight Defense: Trump ends sanctions waivers for buying Iranian oil | At least four Americans killed in Sri Lanka attacks | Sanders pushes for Yemen veto override vote McConnell: 'Time to move on' from Trump impeachment talk MORE's (R-Ky.) office. 

The federal government has been in a partial shutdown since Dec. 22, with President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers 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.