ROCHESTER, Minn. - Families of federal employees are counting down the days until February 15, the deadline for lawmakers to make a deal and avoid another government shutdown.
The looming shutdown comes after three weeks of an open government following the longest shutdown in U.S. history.
Caitlin Matera's husband works at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester and went weeks without pay during the first shutdown. During that time, Matera helped organize an ongoing donation drive to help government employees not getting paid.
She said she was 'overwhelmed' by the kindness people showed, but knows they're not out of the woods just yet.
Matera wants to donate all of the items to organizations to help people in need, but can't yet do that until she knows whether families of federal employees will need it first if another shutdown happens.
"That's sad because I want to be able to give them away and make sure our federal workers are being paid and that I don't have to worry about shutdowns and they don't have to worry about shutdowns," she said. "But we're not there. We're not comfortable with saying the worst has passed. We don't know that. "