"This is something Americans have to get used to," said Huls. "Even if it affects your livelihood, you've got to stand up."
Perhaps more than anywhere else,
The state is one of the richest beneficiaries of federal spending, with its sprawling military bases,
Yet Cruz's firebrand opposition to the nation's new entitlement program_the Affordable Care Act— and his campaign to stop government growth at all costs were also born here, and resonate deeply with many conservatives. In
Huls said he doesn't believe his job is a waste of money: "The public doesn't think much of federal workers these days, but we're people with car payments just like everyone else."
Still, he said of Cruz, "He's fighting for what he believes in and I'm taking a side."
"It is not anyone's patriotic duty to make
A rising tea party star, Cruz was elected to the
Cruz supporters tend to make a distinction between government workers and government. The former can be worthwhile; the latter is taking on too much and must be pruned to its essential functions. In a
But with the workers now being idled, some conservatives in Cruz's hometown are debating whether his tactics have gone too far.
"It's frustration that others don't understand because they're not directly affected,"
Huls said he has enough savings to tide him over for at least two months without a paycheck. But he's worried about not making up money he borrowed from his retirement plan and says he may eventually have to talk to other creditors about extensions.
"But I don't consider myself a victim," Huls said. "I'm in this fight too and this is my role."
"I think it's a small price to pay for the future generations," said Rivera, who says he considers the new health care law un-American.
But space center financial management specialist
"Even though you save for a rainy day, you don't know how long it's going to rain," said Broussard-Guidry, president of the local chapter of the
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