Government paychecks come up short because of shutdown

LENEXA, Kan. - Local government workers are struggling to make their paychecks stretch. On Tuesday, what could be their final pay checks came up short because of the government shutdown

Patrick James and his wife said they feel like indentured servants. The two work as air traffic controlers in Olathe, Kan.

While many people are furloughed, they're necessary employees who have to work without pay. They said have no idea when they're going to get their next paycheck.

The couple received what could be their final paycheck if the government doesn't reopen by the end of the month.

"We're very grateful for our jobs, but we're also very grateful for our jobs when they give us a full paycheck, too," he said. 

The government shutdown chopped their checks in half. They were only paid for the days they worked before Oct. 1, 2013.

While the government battles it out on Capitol Hill, James and his wife have to dip into their savings to feed their family and the pressure is mounting.

"What happens if I don't make my mortgage or don't make my car payment are they going to knock my credit rating down? That's really unfair," James said.

Right now, thousands of government workers are grappling with a reality that simply seems un-American.

"Yeah, we can take loans out, we can use our credit cards, we can do all of those things, but that's not how this is supposed to work," he said. "I mean if you work for a living you're supposed to get paid."

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