How Long Will The Shutdown Last?
As the shut down reached its 35th day on Jan. 25, President Donald Trump signed a bill to temporarily reopen the federal government for three weeks.
According to The New York Times, the signing of this bill restores normal operations at a series of federal agencies until Feb. 15. The furloughed employees will be joining the essential employees as they are being reinstated to work. It will also enable them to receive pay, although there was no confirmation as to when that will be.
The Wall Street Journal stated acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Sunday, the employees getting paid will depend on the payroll provider, with some being paid later this week.
The government shutdown has gone on record as one of the longest shutdowns in the nation's history. Agencies and employees affected by the shutdown range from FBI, FDA and TSA to the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, Coast Guard, law enforcement and correctional officers.
In total, 800,000 employees did not receive pay since the shutdown began last Dec. In addition, 420,000 of the 800,000 total employees affected continued to work without pay because they were deemed essential employees. The remainder of employees were furloughed without pay.
Several federal employees admitted the shutdown made them unsure about their financial situation such as Haley Hernandez, a stay-at-home mother of four and wife of an active-duty member of the Coast Guard, resorted to unemployment benefits. Hernandez told The Associated Press that she applied for free lunches for her children, and was waiting for an electronic food stamp card in the mail.
"This is a first for us," Hernandez said. "Honestly, it's pretty shameful, I feel, that any government employee would have to ask for food stamps or any kind of assistance like that. You would think that they would take better care of their service members."
Hernandez admitted she is not sure how she will make her $1,400 mortgage payment. Some have considered taking out loans to cover for the lack of income to stay afloat. These are some of the measures many employees have taken due to the current state of the federal government. More importantly, every one of these workers would not receive a paycheck If the shutdown were to resume. This would lead to a bigger financial crisis than the one they are currently facing. Meanwhile for furloughed employees, starting part-time jobs like Uber Eats and Lyft are alternatives some have used to ensure there is some cash flow to cover whatever expenses they can for themselves and their families.
Discussions on funding for border security will continue throughout the next three weeks. Yet, with no sign of President Trump and Democrats agreeing on a consensus border bill, the shutdown has no certain end. President Trump mentioned that he will be ready to shut down the government again or declare a national emergency if no agreement is made.