Sen. Kamala Harris bringing furloughed worker as State of the Union guest

/ CBS News

Sen. Kamala Harris, a 2020 presidential candidate, is bringing a government worker who was furloughed during the recent shutdown as her guest to the State of the Union, telling CBS News' Nancy Cordes the shutdown was "not without harm." Harris and her guest Trisha Pesiri-Dybvik spoke to Cordes before the senator's pre-speech rebuttal to President Trump's address.

Harris discussed the damage the extended shutdown inflicted on the 800,000 workers who went without pay.

"Whatever decision policymakers and leaders make in this place, in Washington, D.C., has a direct impact on real human beings," Harris said.

Pesiri-Dybvik is an Air Traffic Control officer who was furloughed during the 35-day government shutdown. She and her husband, who is also an Air Traffic Control officer and worked without pay during the shutdown, lost their house during the Thomas Fire, one of the deadly wildfires which swept through California this year. She is also a volunteer for her union, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

Pesiri-Dybvik said her family could endure another shutdown "temporarily," but it would be impossible to go with no pay indefinitely. The continuing resolution keeping the government open ends on Feb. 15.

Harris is delivering remarks on Facebook Live at 7:45 p.m. ET prior to Mr. Trump's State of the Union address. According to a press release for Harris' speech, she will "push back on the president's expected message of division, highlight the importance of speaking truth, and outline her vision for a country that works for all its people."

Harris told Cordes she will be "critically evaluating the veracity" of Mr. Trump's address Tuesday night.

"I'm going to be listening to the words, hoping and praying that there is some understanding of the way that Americans are living their lives right now," Harris said.

Mr. Trump is delivering his second State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress Tuesday night at 9 p.m. ET. He will be laying out his vision of the country and goals for his administration before an already divided body, after being forced to delay his speech amid a partial government shutdown stemming from disputes over border security.

First published on February 5, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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