Former President George W. Bush Personally Delivers Pizza to Federal Workers Amid US Government Shutdown

Former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush delivered pizza to their Secret Service detail this week, since the men assigned to protect them are not being paid during the partial U.S. government shutdown.

On Friday, Bush shared a photo of himself serving his Secret Service personnel pizza, along with a message to lawmakers in Washington on Instagram.

"[Laura Bush] and I are grateful to our Secret Service personnel and the thousands of Federal employees who are working hard for our country without a paycheck. And we thank our fellow citizens who are supporting them," Bush wrote. "It’s time for leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown."

george bush pizza instagram
(Photo: Instagram/President George W. Bush)

The government shutdown entered its 29th day on Saturday. About 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed, and about 420,000 of them are expected to continue working without paychecks, including TSA agents at airports, FBI agents and Coast Guard employees, according to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Since the shutdown began, private businesses and charities have tried to help out those living without paychecks. D.C. is offering free lunch during to children 18 and younger on Saturdays at Parks and Recreation Department locations, reports WTOP. Several restaurants in the D.C. area, including Gregorys Coffee, Punch Bowl Social, Kramerbooks & Afterwods Cafe & Pizza, Paisono's Pizza, are offering deals to furloughed workers.

According to ABC News, a pop-up kitchen opened on Pennsylvania Avenue Wednesday. Organizers served more than double the number of meals they expected. Photos of a line filled with furloughed workers snaking around the building went viral on Twitter.

In Arlington, Virginia, Sen. Mark Warner went to a food bank to pass out potatoes and apples to furloughed workers, and donated his salary from the latest pay period to the food bank.

"When people go without a second paycheck, which is coming next Thursday, and they hit the beginning of the month of February, there are mortgages due, their rent is due, other bills are due," Warner said Friday, reports ArlNow.com. “That’s when things get really bad… And what’s happening in our region, it’s already a crisis. But this is going to be a crisis that spreads all across the country. ”

The shutdown began on Dec. 22 and is now the longest in U.S. history. It began when President Donald Trump refused to sign a new budget without funds for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

On Saturday, Trump proposed a deal, in which he would protect recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for the next three years in exchange for $5.7 billion to build the wall. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would put the proposal up to a vote this week, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it a "non-starter" with Democrats because it does not include a permanent solution for DACA recipients.

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On Wednesday, Trump signed a bill guaranteeing that furloughed workers will receive backpay, and they will be paid as soon as the shutdown ends.

Photo credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images