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Do Lawmakers Fear Mobs of Angry Feds?

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Kellie Lunney/GovExec.com

Over at "The Corner," on National Review Online, Jonathan Strong adds this tidbit today to an update on ongoing talks to try to break the stalemate on Capitol Hill and at the White House over a continuing resolution, the debt ceiling, Obamacare, entitlement spending and everything else that's being thrown into the debate at this stage:

If no deal is reached, many federal workers will miss their first paycheck today. Lawmakers are not taking the issue lightly, and one step they have already taken is to beef up security at their district offices, fearing an onslaught of angry federal employees. That could add pressure on House Republicans already feeling the heat. 

Most federal workers actually will receive a partial paycheck today, representing about 60 percent of their normal salary. But that's it for many of them until the government reopens. So they're going to be an even unhappier bunch than they already are, and many of them will be in genuinely dire financial straits if the logjam doesn't break soon.

But does that mean angry mobs of feds will actually storm the local offices of members of Congress? That seems farfetched. I could see lawmakers becoming concerned that Americans in generally will get beyond fed up about the ongoing effects of the shutdown, but there's little evidence to suggest that disgruntled feds will present a security risk.

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

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