PERRYVILLE, Md. -
They line the sidewalk outside the Perry Point AV Medical Center crying out for justice as 800,000 federal workers across the country await the fallout from the government shutdown.
"I do not see this going away. I think we, as federal employees, and those being furloughed are being held hostage at the expense of those in Congress that want to fight Obamacare for the 46th time," said Wayne Marion of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 331.
"Hey! Hey! What do you say to Congress?" they chant.
"Pay the bills."
Despite the clarity of their message, the impact of the shutdown on the protestors or on veterans for that matter remains unclear.
Lawmakers advance fund veterans’ programs through 2014, which means the VA hospitals and clinics remain open for business.
"I just want to make sure that their opinions do not confuse veterans... that we are open for veterans’ services and that's essential,” said Natalie Merckens, the associate director of finance for the VA Maryland Healthcare System, “I don't want anyone to be fearful that they can't come in for their appointments."
And while these workers want to show their solidarity with those subject to furloughs, we couldn't find anyone here that's being sent home.
"But there's no one here that's expecting to get furloughed?"
"No one that I'm aware of," answered Marion.
The issue is one based in fear---fear that if the shutdown stretches beyond days to weeks or even months, no worker or service could be guaranteed.
"We may have things that are affected by the shutdown that we don't see at this moment."
"Hey! Hey! What do you say to Congress?"
"Pass the budget!" they continued to chant.
While it doesn't expect any disruption in services, the VA has put veterans on notice that if the shutdown lasts more than two or three weeks, it may not have enough money to cover disability claims and pension payments.
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