Ohio IRS worker has lost 10 pounds during hunger strike to protest government shutdown

An Internal Revenue Service worker skipped an anniversary dinner with her husband as part of her protest of the government shutdown that’s kept her from working.

Donna Smith, of Morrow, Ohio, said she won’t eat any solid food until the federal government is back up and running, reported WLWT-TV.

“It's time to walk the walk, and this is nonviolent and this is my own personal protest,” Smith said.

Smith, who works at the federal building in downtown Cincinnati, has been furloughed since the shutdown began Oct. 1 after House Republicans declined to send a funding bill that didn’t cut funding or delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act to the Senate for consideration.

She said she started her hunger strike on Oct. 7, and Smith told the station she’s lost about 10 pounds since then.

Smith said she has been consuming only water, tea and Ensure nutritional shakes during her protest, and she has sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), of nearby West Chester, asking him to resolve the congressional impasse.

“I know all of our representatives are very serious,” Smith said. “They have very serious positions, but then be serious; put yourself on the line. Really think about what you're doing and who you're affecting.”

Smith said she and her husband, who celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary Sunday but skipped going out to dinner, were doing fine financially during her furlough, but she sympathizes with her counterparts who have experienced hardship during the time off.

“I hope they come to some resolution soon,” Smith told the station. “I just want to go back to work. I want to get paid for the work I do.”