Furloughed federal employee: Trump's speech like 'a slap in the face'

Furloughed federal employee: Trump's speech like 'a slap in the face'
© Greg Nash

Dante Biss-Grayson Halleck, a furloughed federal employee who acknowledged feeling the strain caused by the ongoing partial government shutdown, on Wednesday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump claims media 'smeared' students involved in encounter with Native American man Al Sharpton criticizes Trump’s ‘secret’ visit to MLK monument Gillibrand cites spirituality in 2020 fight against Trump’s ‘dark’ values MORE's speech about the border was like "a slap in the face." 

"There was no solution in there and there was no reason to why these employees are being impacted by the wall," Halleck said of the Tuesday night speech by Trump, according to CNN. "We're like pawns in this whole game."  

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Halleck, a veteran, works as a safety officer for a federal hospital serving tribal nations in New Mexico, according to the network.

He told CNN that his family has enough emergency funds to last three months.

"There are very few people who can live without a paycheck for months," Halleck said. "If the shutdown lasts and people begin to quit, at-risk patients could suffer the ultimate consequence." 

He said Trump's speech, as well as the follow-up by Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerProtecting our judiciary must be a priority in the 116th Congress Baldwin's Trump plays 'Deal or No Deal' with shutdown on 'Saturday Night Live' Sunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Fox’s Wallace to Pence: Is government shutdown all about ‘leverage?' Former House Republican: Trump will lose the presidency if he backs away from border security MORE (D-Calif.), were like a "slap in the face to everybody that's doing a good service for this country." 

"There was no 'thank you' to the federal employees who are going to be living on rice and beans by Friday," Halleck said. 

Trump, during a televised speech on Tuesday night, reiterated his demand for $5.7 billion in border wall funding, calling the situation at the border a "crisis." 

Schumer and Pelosi accused Trump of trying to “stoke fear” with his Oval Office address. 

"Most presidents have used Oval Office addresses for noble purposes. This president just used the backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration," Schumer said.  

The shutdown reached the 19-day mark on Wednesday, leaving 800,000 federal employees furloughed or working without pay for the time being.