Furloughed IRS Worker Goes On Hunger Strike Until Shutdown Ends

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The government shutdown has been a massive headache for some 500,000 furloughed federal workers, as the Los Angeles Times recently put it. But one employee of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has taken an extraordinary step to vent her anger over the shutdown. Ohio resident Donna Smith, who works for the IRS in a federal building in Cincinnati, decided to go on a hunger strike until government officials agree to end the shutdown so she can go back to work.

Morrow told local NBC outlet WLWT she's lost 10 pounds since she began her fast on Oct. 7. And she's taking a hard line with her protest; she's only drinking water, tea and Ensure shakes. She even skipped out on a celebratory meal for her 35th anniversary.

In speaking to WLWT, Morrow said the fast was to broadcast her disgust over the current political climate. "I thought, 'I've got my husband and I've got my family and I'll be OK.' But it's time to walk the walk and this is non-violent and this is my own personal protest," she said.

For Morrow, who's been working with the IRS for 12 years, the fast has been deeply meaningful. She says it's helped her find her "spiritual center."

And she's doing more than just staying away from food; she's even written a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner. "Put yourself on the line," she said to members of Congress while being interviewed by WLWT.

Smith may not be able to return to the kitchen in the immediate future. Attempts this week to come up with a plan to fund the government have failed to solve the impasse.

"I just want to go back to work. I want to get paid for the work I do," she told WLWT.

What do you think of Smith's hunger strike? Share your comments below.
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