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John Prine, Nile Rodgers, members of KISS & more aid government workers hit by shutdown

Newport Folk Festival
John Prine at Newport Folk Festival 2017 (more by Ben Stas)

As the government shutdown stretches into its thirty-first day, many are feeling the pinch. Federal employees will miss a second consecutive pay check unless the government reopens today, CNN reports, and that seems unlikely; although Trump made an offer over the weekend, extending DACA protections for three years in exchange for $5.7 billion to fund a border wall, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the deal a “non-starter” and CNN reports that Trump and Democratic leaders haven’t spoken in over a week, according to aides. Between 7.9-10% of TSA employees have called out over the past couple of days, according to a statement from the Administration.

Amidst all of this, some musicians have stepped up to offer assistance to furloughed workers. John Prine and his record label, Oh Boy Records, provided lunch for TSA workers at Nashville International Airport in TN on Friday (1/18). “The Nashville airport is my second home,” John wrote on Instagram, “and everyone there always takes care of me, it’s nice to be able to do something small for them today.”

Meanwhile, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS are offering free meals to TSA employees at their Rock & Brews locations, with a choice between a pulled pork sandwich and strawberry fields salad.

In Toms River, NJ, the Jon Bon Jovi-owned JBJ Soul Kitchen will be open from noon-2 PM on Wednesday (1/23) to provide meals for furloughed federal workers, in association with NJ Governor Phil Murphy’s charity, the Murphy Family Foundation.

Nile Rodgers isn’t helping to feed federal workers, but he is inviting 300 of them to attend his show on Saturday (1/26) at the Washington DC-area MGM National Harbor. “Like many people, I’m frustrated by what’s happening and my heart goes out to these incredibly hard-working people who provide important service to our country, yet have had their lives, disrupted by circumstances, not of their doing,” Nile says. “As a two-time cancer survivor, I believe music has a tremendous power and this is a small gesture I can make to provide some joy and healing. In one of my biggest songs I wrote, ‘We Are Family, I’ve got all my sisters with me,’ I consider all of these people to be my brothers and sisters and I hope this lets them know that we are 100% behind them.” Government employees can apply for a free pair of tickets via Eventbrite.

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