Thursday, April 24 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-04-24 19:47:30 GMT
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Federal workers are feeling the government shutdown more than anyone. Most are off work and losing money each day.
Nike Bies makes the commute every day from Sylvania to Ann Arbor for his job at the National Vehicle Fuel Emissions Laboratory. He does hands-on emissions testing on every kind of vehicle sold in the U.S., but because the lab is run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Bies has been furloughed.
"My direct management has no idea [how long the furlough will last]," Bies said.
The time off is no vacation. Bies has to worry about paying the bills, and says there's no guarantee he'll get paid for these days off.
"I'm actually helping a friend out," he said. "He owns a small business in Michigan. I'm just kind of helping him out a little bit, but other than that, that's about it…I feel like I'm kind of held hostage. I don't know what to do, exactly."
Bies says he can apply for unemployment if the shutdown drags on, but he'll have to rely on his savings account to pay his bills now.
He says he has a message for Congress:
"I would just like to see them work together. Put the individual agendas aside and work together for the country."
Bies is also worried the auto industry will suffer. Since his lab can't test emissions, he thinks production lines could end up getting shut down.