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Kansas U.S. Rep. Davids Says She Will Press Sen. Moran To Support Reopening Government

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas) met with furloughed goverment workers at her Overland Park office on Sunday.
Sharice Davids
U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas) met with furloughed goverment workers at her Overland Park office on Sunday.

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, the new congresswoman from Kansas' 3rd District, will meet with Republican Sen. Jerry Moran this week and lobby him to vote for a House bill that would reopen the government, Davids said on Sunday.

Davids said the previously scheduled meeting with Moran was intitially intended as an opportunity for her to get to know the state's junior senator, but with the partial government shutdown entering its fourth week, the meeting is taking on more urgency.

“We know that the government functions that we’re missing out on right now impact not just the federal civil service employees but all the people who depend on those services,” Davids told KCUR.

The House has passed a bill that would continue funding the government, but that measure has stalled in the senate.

With 800,000 federal workers missing a paycheck on Friday, Davids invited seven furloughed workers to her Overland Park office on Sunday to hear their stories.

One worker, who has been with the federal government for 15 years and asked that her name not be used due the nature of her position with the Environmental Protection Agency, said she is already cutting back.

"I'm trying to use less gas. Eat out less. Holding off on buying my kid new jeans," she said.

The woman said she had spent a lifetime in government service and is now looking to leave the EPA for the private sector.

"My heart isn't in it," she said. "We're not a political piece on a chessboard."

She said she also worried about the EPA's mission and feared that public health is at risk.

Davids said she heard the same thing from an employee of the Federal Aviation Administration. While air traffic controlers are working without pay, other parts of the FAA, such as the academy that trains controllers, are closed.

"Every day when they're closed, it is exponentially longer that it takes them to get back up and going," Davids said.

Sam Zeff is KCUR's metro reporter. You can follow Sam on Twitter, @samzeff.

Copyright 2019 KCUR 89.3

Sam covers education for KCUR and the Kansas News Service. Before joining the station in August 2014 he covered health and education for KCPT.
Sam Zeff
Sam grew up in Overland Park and was educated at the University of Kansas. After working in Philadelphia where he covered organized crime, politics and political corruption he moved on to TV news management jobs in Minneapolis and St. Louis. Sam came home in 2013 and covered health care and education at KCPT. He came to work at KCUR in 2014. Sam has a national news and documentary Emmy for an investigation into the federal Bureau of Prisons and how it puts unescorted inmates on Grayhound and Trailways buses to move them to different prisons. Sam has one son and is pretty good in the kitchen.