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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Roughly 800,000 federal workers are now back on the job after the government shutdown ends.
Federal workers will see two full checks worth of back pay sometime this week. The exact day — remains unclear. Many of them remain anxious about the prospect they’ll be pawns again on a partisan chessboard.
“The reality is some people believe one thing, some people believe the other. At the end of the day, we need to work together. It’s one country,” said Gary French of Portland, Oregon.
Across Independence Mall, there was curiosity more than anything about the many historic sites that were locked up during the shutdown.
“It’s strange to us. How can you just close down the government?” said Atli of Iceland.
“That doesn’t happen in Iceland?” asked reporter Joe Holden.
“Not that I’m aware of,” said Atli.
“I think any time the government shuts down, it’s kind of embarrassing. These guys get paid how much to run the country and keep it together?” said Ryan Napoli of Harrisburg.
Financials aren’t in yet on any potential loss realized from the closure of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. But if optics are anything — it’s the country’s image that’s taken the biggest dent.
“I just think it’s embarrassing on so many levels,” said Ed Dougherty of Old City.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has invited President Trump to deliver the State of the Union address next week. She sent him a letter, posted on Twitter by her spokesman, Drew Hammill, that read, “In our conversation today, we agreed on February 5th. Therefore, I invite you to deliver your State of the Union address before a Joint Session of Congress on February 5, 2019 in the House Chamber.”