Fire Captain Mark Munoz on the Government Shutdown

Mark Munoz is a Fire Captain with the U.S. Forest Service and has been on furlough since the U.S. Government shut down on December 22, 2019. He joins Christiane Amanpour to talk about the far-reaching and personal effects of the shutdown.

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So I guess here we are.

It's about three weeks since the shutdown began.

What are you feeling.

Did you ever think it would get to this state.

You know we definitely prepared for this when we got word that the government was going to shut down.

And day one soon as they let us know that the government is going to shut down.

It is but tremendous amount of stress.

Tell me how for you personally I said that is a punch in the pocketbook I mean your wallet must be hurting every day efforts to try to make ends meet make ends meet.

Is that the case for you.

Oh most definitely.

Most folks are on an impression that you know all federal workers make a lot of money at firefighters with the federal government make tons of money and that's not the case already before the furlough a lot of our folks are working paycheck to paycheck.

So with the furlough now involved with this it's a tremendous amount of stress that's put on the shoulders of every worker here and the federal government.

And for you specifically there in Los Angeles I mean you have seven daughters and your wife is recovering from cancer.

What does it mean on a daily daily basis for you.

How do you feed clothe house send to school your daughters keep caring for your wife.

You know a lot of it's from savings which has already gone already within the first two weeks of the furlough.

A lot of it's picking up you know odd jobs doing lawns family support.

We have also strong support from our union that's trying to end this shutdown right now.

It's really just comes down to support from your co-workers your family and friends.

How long do you think you can survive on that kind of you know sort of ad hoc hand to mouth support.

Maybe another week.


So what would you say to your representatives to your Congress and senators and to the president.

What would you say.

You know both parties need to come together come to an agreement come to some common ground.

This is affecting over 800000 thousand of your workers that want to give back to the community in this country.

They want to get back to work.

The stress is unneeded unwanted. And it's not acceptable I think the sooner you guys come to an agreement and some common ground we can get back to work and finish doing our job.

What do you make of the president's trip to the border for instance and the issue of the border wall in this fight.

You know I think the whole issues with the border wall do you support the war do you not support the war.

Do you support our president do we not support our president.

I think that's bringing the biggest division right now and the biggest focus when the focus should be on the employees that are not working right now.

I think that focus needs to be on two of the employees that are furloughed at this time and that need to get back to work to support their families.

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with furloughed Fire Captain Mark Munoz; British Justice Minister Rory Stewart; author Afua Hirsch; and director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. Michel Martin speaks with Baltimore Police Officer Monique Brown & Alex Long about “Charm City.”