The federal government shutdown is plowing ahead with no end in sight. The third of 2018, this most recent shutdown has impacted approximately the 25 percent of government that had not secured funding through 2019, including the departments of Transportation, State, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Interior, Treasury, Agriculture, Homeland Security and Justice.
As the shutdown enters its second weekend, approximately 800,000 federal employees’ pay is being withheld. Of those, roughly 420,000 are working without pay – including border patrol agents, airport security and Coast Guard members – and 380,000 are furloughed. The entire federal workforce is comprised of 2.1 million civilian employees.
Federal employees and their families have taken to social media to voice their frustration about the budgetary impasse.
On Twitter, the hashtag #ShutdownStories has highlighted stark examples of hardship incurred by the government families.
@TeaPainUSA whenever I talk about my air traffic control husband working without pay on Twitter, all I get is hateful remarks about how he WILL & won’t lose a dime. Um YEAH I KNOW that, but what are we supposed to do about Christmas & bills in the meantime? #ShutdownStories
— LMGray (@psychomamma) December 24, 2018
The lives of the many are at risk because of the election of wealthy individuals. Maybe it’s time to critically think about the reality of those being elected and how they ever relate to everyday hard working individuals & can they empathise with true hard living#ShutdownStories
— Paul Dutton (@pauldutton1968) December 24, 2018
#ShutdownStories single mom, single income. If my pay from last two weeks shows up I have enough to pay bills, but not buy food. We live direct deposit to direct deposit, & something vital is always breaking – car brakes, stove, furnace.🤞 nothing goes until this is over.
— Oceans of Hope (@Freya_Cerridwen) December 24, 2018
We’ve gotten to the point where shutting down the government is a casual dispute tactic#ShutdownStories reminds us that a shutdown isn’t a no harm tactic.
The federal gov’t is the largest public sector employer. Thousands upon thousands of hardworking people don’t get paid now
— 5’7” Black Male (@absurdistwords) December 24, 2018
Do yourself a favor this Christmas and go read the #ShutdownStories to see how the government shutdown is affecting ordinary Americans. Maybe it’s time we stop electing wealthy democrats and republicans into office, who don’t know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck.
— Mike Kanellis (@RealMikeBennett) December 24, 2018
My insurance premium is $600 per month & my sons Insulin & pump supplies are an additional $600 per quarter. Barely making it. Now I’ll be going to work…..paid in the future. #ShutdownStories
— Mizz Dub (@nikkita_atikkin) December 25, 2018
Employees who work without pay during shutdowns will receive their paycheck after a new funding bill is signed, according to Office of Personnel Management instruction.
There is no guarantee that employees who were furloughed will get paid. However, in the wake of every previous shutdown, Congress has voted to recompense furloughed workers.
The shutdown began Friday night when President Trump made good on his promise to not sign a bipartisan continuing resolution without funding for a border wall separating the U.S. and Mexico. Both the House and Senate had been set to pass a continuing resolution that would have circumvented a shutdown by funding government operations through February before Trump’s refusal on Thursday.
Attempts in the House afterward to rescue the short-term funding bill by including border wall spending did not gain traction in the Senate.
While many government functions continue as normal, others will wane if the shutdown continues for too long. Smithsonian museums, for example, have preserved enough funds to stay open through New Year’s Day. Afterward, however, they would have to shut down temporarily.