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Kansas City IRS employees worry about looming government shutdown

Shannon Ellis - President of NTEU Chapter 66
Posted at 10:30 PM, Sep 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-26 23:30:16-04

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Leaders from the U.S. House of Representatives are in session, working on a spending bill ahead of Saturday's deadline.

It's more than just a political debate for thousands in the Kansas City area — it's a livelihood.

The nation's second-largest IRS campus is seated in Kansas City, so Shannon Ellis, president of NTEU Chapter 66, the union for IRS workers, says the scale of the impact in the area is tremendous.

"[It] Affects a lot of people," she said. “At this building, we have over 4,000 employees. We're not pawns. We want to work, but we deserve to get paid if we're working."

The drumbeat of a shutdown has echoed in the halls of federal buildings for the last few years. Shutdowns haven't been uncommon.

"I remember the last shutdown, it was devastating, especially hard for my family," said Tami Ford, a local IRS employee of 17 years. "At the time we had three generations of IRS workers in the same household. I’m feeling concerned.”

The employees have no idea what the next few days will hold, but they worry about each other.

“It just affects a lot of people. It’s women, it’s families, it’s children, and we all deserve to be able to live with some type of stability," Ford said.

The union representing IRS employees plans on protesting Wednesday, Oct. 4, outside the front of the KCMO IRS buildings if a shutdown happens over the weekend.