Watch Fox News’ Heartbreaking Interview With Furloughed Federal Worker: ‘I’ve Actually Had a Breakdown’


As the longest government shutdown in U.S. history drags on with no end in sight, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith took time Thursday afternoon to put a human face to the ordeal and the impact it’s having on furloughed federal workers.

“With the shutdown nearing a month now it’s important not to lose sight of the hundreds of thousands of Americans and their families who are hurting while Washington is trying to get its at together,” he began.

Smith interviewed Brenner Stiles — an army veteran and single mother of three working for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Texas — who says the shutdown has “completely changed my life.”

Stiles says she had to pull her four-year-old child out of daycare and tell her children “that Mommy is not getting paid.”

“I’ve actually had a breakdown,” she said. “I’ve had to drive away to the corner store just to cry in my car so that my children couldn’t see me. Because from one day to the next, you don’t know how you’re going to pay your bills… you don’t know when you’re going back to work, or if you’re going back to work… we’re all suffering and it’s just very heartbreaking what American citizens are having to go through because of politics.”

Stiles explained the various ways her life  — and the life of her children — are being affected.

“You don’t drive unless you have to because you’re worried about gas,” she said. “My son wanted to be in his basketball camp and he asked me just yesterday ‘Mom, can I still play basketball,’ and I told him, ‘no, I’m sorry. We don’t have the money right now.'”

Smith asked Stiles what they were doing for dinner with money as tight as it is.

She replied, “I actually put some beans in my crock pot and we’re going to have chili beans.”

The Fox News anchor pressed Stiles on if she had a plan if the shutdown, which is set to enter its fifth week on Saturday, continues on.

“The plan is to just lean on your community, lean on your family… lean on other colleagues and coworkers for support, reach out to friends and family, and right now that’s what we’re doing,” Stiles said. “We’re having to basically reach out to a lot of people to help us.”

Watch above, via Fox News.

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