Trump Supporter On Shutdown: He’s Not Hurting The People He Needs To Be Hurting

Photo By: Airman 1st Class Gabrielle Spalding

Some federal workers in a conservative Florida town—where many work for the federal prison—blame Trump for the shutdown.

While the president tweets from that federal workers are with him in his border wall standoff that has led to a nearly three-week government shutdown, some federal employees in Marianna, Florida — a town still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Michael — told The New York Times a different story.

One of those federal workers, Crystal Minton, has come to rethink her support for President Donald Trump since the shutdown began.

The 38-year-old mother of twins, who also cares for her disabled parents, works as a secretary at the local federal prison, but that prison isn’t so local since the hurricane. It was temporarily relocated more than 400 miles away in Yazoo City, Mississippi, and the employees must drive seven hours to spend two-week stints at work.

Right now, they’re doing it without pay — and without reimbursement for their living expenses while they’re away from home.

Minton told the Times that the shutdown, arriving as residents are still grappling with damage from the hurricane, has caused her to rethink a lot of things.

“I voted for him, and he’s the one who’s doing this,” she said of Mr. Trump. “I thought he was going to do good things. He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting.”

Minton wasn't the only federal worker upset with the president.

Melissa Sims, a prison nurse who has to say goodbye to her 3-year-old twins each time she leaves for her two-week stint in Mississippi, blames Trump for the shutdown.

“We can handle a month or two, but if it gets much longer than that, I’m going to look for another job — a job in the private sector,” Ms. Sims said of working without pay.

She blamed Mr. Trump for the shutdown, a point on which she disagreed with her husband and most of her colleagues. “This definitely is making me more political than I have been in the past,” Ms. Sims said. She has been researching how Congress passes budget bills.

“My stance is that if there’s a wall, they’re going to find a way to get past it — legal or not,” Ms. Sims said.

Even if many of Marianna residents are displeased with the shutdown — for which some fault the president, some fault Congress, and some fault both — they are generally supportive of Trump’s wall proposal.

Though Mr. Trump said on Twitter over the weekend that “most of the workers not getting paid are Democrats,” that is far from true in places like Jackson County, Fla., where Marianna is the county seat. It is a Republican bastion so deeply conservative that it was illegal to sell liquor by the drink until November 2017. The president and his plan for a wall along the border are popular here, as they are across much of the state, which might explain why Florida Republicans in Congress have done little to pressure party leaders in the Senate to put an end to the shutdown.

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