The Government Shutdown is Affecting Hundreds of Federal Workers

Starting on December 22 2018, President Donald Trump made an executive order to suspend all “nonessential” government services including the National Parks Service, NASA, the Department of Housing and Development and many other civil servant employees.

This shutdown lasted until January 25 when both chambers of the House agreed to reopen the US government for three weeks, in order to negotiate a deal with President Trump without spending more money by being shut down. The United States is currently in what is called a “partial shutdown” where civil servants are not furloughed but many are still receiving no pay despite working.

Many civil servants who were furloughed during the shutdown are still recovering from the 35 days without pay and the possibility of yet another shutdown in the next few weeks is a scary thought.

Cynthia Letts recently moved to Washington, D.C. to start a new job on Capitol Hill, she says that she may be homeless before the end of the shutdowns.

“I moved and began my new federal job one week before the shutdown,” she said. “I spent most of my savings getting here and can't pay the rent without a job. I'm looking at homelessness."

Homelessness is a serious problem already plaguing Washington, D.C. and having our own politicians and lawmakers on the street is something that would make our Founding Fathers roll in their graves.

It isn’t just federal employees getting the runt of the money loss. It is also those who receive food stamps as this service has been temporarily shut down and considered “nonessential.”

Susan Hirschy is a disabled woman who depends on the federal government to provide her with food stamps and income assistance. With these on hold, she has no idea how she will eat in the next few weeks.

"This may be my last month with food assistance. Now, frugality in all its forms must take shape. I will not drive to save gas.” she said, “I will sit in the dark to conserve power. Every dollar will go towards the coming loss in my food budget."

The ASPCA has taken initiative and is providing animal food and care items to furloughed employees who cannot afford to take care of their furry friends during the shutdown.

Many other agencies are providing support to those who are losing money, food and even shelter over this shutdown. If you wish to contribute, click here.

 

President Trump needs to come to a consensus with the Democratic party before more people are affected in these ways.

Photo credit: Larry Downing