The Trump administration recalled thousands of furloughed Internal Revenue Service employees last week to process tax refunds despite the government shutdown. However, many staffers are reportedly skipping work, which could mean a delay.

According to The Washington Post, hundreds of IRS employees have been granted absences due to financial hardship, and their union said that an organized protest could cause even more workers to stay home.

With the shutdown dragging into its second month, National Treasury Employees Union President Tony Reardon demanded that the government figure out a way to help the IRS workers.

“Federal employees are about to miss their second paycheck and they are growing increasingly desperate,” Reardon said in a statement on Tuesday. “The suffering of thousands of middle-class working families has to end, and it has to end now.”

Reardon also said it was “grossly unfair that federal employees are the pawns in someone else’s fight,” adding that “the situation is dire.” 

The Senate is expected to vote on Thursday on two competing plans to reopen the government. One bill is backed by Democrats and the other is backed by the GOP, yet both are almost certain to fail, leaving no clear end in sight to the shutdown.


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