US: Thousands of federal workers miss first paycheck of year
Hundreds of thousands of US federal workers have missed their first paycheck of the year due to the ongoing partial government shutdown, which occurred after President Donald Trump and Congress failed to agree on an appropriation bill that would include funding a border wall.
The government shutdown has dragged on for nearly three weeks over Trump’s demand that funding construction of a border wall on the US-Mexico border should be included in the government funding bill.
About 800,000 federal employees have been affected by the government shutdown, forcing workers to scale back spending, cancel trips, apply for unemployment benefits and take out loans to pay bills.
Roughly 420,000 federal employees were deemed essential and are working unpaid. An additional 380,000 are staying home without pay
While furloughed federal workers have been compensated in previous shutdowns, it’s not guaranteed that will happen this time.
Government contractors, who have been placed indefinitely on unpaid leave, don’t get compensated for lost hours.
Most of the government workers received their last paycheck two weeks ago, and Friday will be the first payday with no money.
Around the country, some federal workers are relying on donations, including launching GoFundMe campaigns. A food pantry has opened up in Boston. Some government workers are thinking about taking second jobs.
Angry furloughed US government workers staged protest rallies on Thursday across the country.
The latest shutdown is poised to become the longest in US history. The last government shutdown to have lasted this long was the impasse that stretched from December 1995 to January 1996, when former President Bill Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress were at loggerheads.