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 McConnellPatient advocates launch drug pricing ad campaign Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs War of words at the White House MORE's (R-Ky.) office. 

The federal government has been in a partial shutdown since Dec. 22, with President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff 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.