As the government shutdown continues each day, the lives of real people continue to be affected. Now that we’re closing in on two weeks since President Donald Trump declared the government shutdown — which means that non-essential discretionary federal programs are closed along with the withholding of people’s federal paychecks — there seems to be no end to when the government will be able to reopen.
Trump is still holding the government hostage due to the fact that Democratic lawmakers won’t give him the billions of dollars he wants to build a border wall. The New York Times reports that approximately 800,000 federal workers are not being paid because of the shutdown. The shutdown is also affecting Native Americans who get federal funds for medical and health needs.
People on social media have been using the hashtag #ShutdownStories to express how the government shutdown is affecting them.
#ShutdownStories I am a federal employee & not deemed “essential”. I have been waiting for the Office of Personnel Management to approve my disability case due to major health issues. Now, I’m furloughed AND OPM can’t work on my case due to this shutdown. I DO NOT WANT THE WALL!
— Michelle (@Michell24822582) December 28, 2018
Some federal workers have to deal with their own issues affecting their health like this woman who has a disability case but cannot get it resolved until the government reopens.
This 71-year-old janitor that works in a government building cannot afford to pay her bills because she hasn’t gotten paid.
Real people, real impacts: 71-year-old Lila is a subcontractor who works as a janitor, cleaning bathrooms at the Dept of Agriculture.
For her, the government shutdown means no work and no paycheck.
“I won’t be able to pay my bills, it’s as simple as that.”#ShutdownStories pic.twitter.com/FdLmR9x9oh
— Heather Graf (@ABC7HeatherGraf) December 28, 2018
She has said that even when the government reopens, she won’t be paid for the days of missed work, which means it will take her even longer to recover financially.
This man is already thinking about getting a new job.
House passes bill to fund/reopen the gov. McConnell won’t bring to the senate floor b/c Trump opposes. I seriously may have to find a new job. Bills don’t stop, even though my pay has. #shutdown2019 #shutdownstories #trumpshutdown #shutdown
— Nic Gonzalez (@NorthBayNic) January 4, 2019
As he says, the bills don’t stop just because his pay has.
Some people still have to work, but will not get paid for it.
My husband is federal law enforcement. He had the weekend off but now has to head back to work on Christmas morning with no indication of when/if he will be paid for providing crucial border security. We blame you @realDonaldTrump #ShutdownStories #TrumpShutDown
— Maria Ortega (@shamapoo) December 25, 2018
Despite protecting the border, he is doing it for free.
Some are seeking help through other means including crowdsourcing.
I'm active duty Coast Guard, and yes this shutdown affects us. This link is legit. It's to https://t.co/1nP6nn2cc8 and it'll generate a message from you to Congress asking them to help push for us to get paid. https://t.co/viUrNrD76u
— Manny (@Manny52028754) December 27, 2018
If the government won’t work for you, perhaps the people will.
This young girl is trying to raise money because her family cannot get paid.
When her mom got furloughed during the government shutdown, this 11-year-old started a business, selling sugar scrubs to help bring in extra money for her family. Meet @BellaBerrellez at 11 on @ABC7News.
You can support her business here: https://t.co/0zRms6lpnu#ShutdownStories pic.twitter.com/NwZ6Mmpyx6
— Heather Graf (@ABC7HeatherGraf) January 4, 2019
Such a great gesture to help your family when they are struggling.
Some people didn’t want to go to work if they weren’t being paid. However, they were threatened if they left their post.
One of my nursing colleagues works at the VA hospital here in Milwaukee. She told me that they are working with out pay due to the #TrumpShutDown. They were threatened with being charged with patient abandonment if they don’t go to work. #ShutDownStories
— Tio Pablito (@Patriot_Paul99) January 2, 2019
It’s like they have no choice.
People are getting desperate and are seeking help through social media.
#ShutdownStories I can't pay rent, or get my back surgery, until this is settled. 🙏Please help me with my financial problem if you could. Message me.
— Derek Pisano (@DerekPisano) January 4, 2019
Having medical expenses really adds up.
People are resorting to using their credit cards to pay for essentials.
Thanks @realDonaldTrump for the unnecessary Christmas stress you’ve placed on my family of 5. Not to mention the new year. Don’t worry, we’ll just charge up all our credit cards with the missed pay checks & live on my teacher salary. Bravo 👏 #GovernmentShutdown #ShutdownStories
— Jenessa Rivas (@jenessa_rivas) December 26, 2018
Paying those off won’t be easy, either.
It’s not just federal pay that is being affected but actual research that affects the entire world.
Well, thanks to the #StupidGovtShutdown, I, like hundred other federal scientists, won’t be able to attend the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting. So much time, money and scientific progress lost. #ShutdownStories @ametsoc pic.twitter.com/ReVylmU2qW
— K Negron (@Ana_PRwx) January 4, 2019
When will it end?
If you want to help federal workers get back pay for the days during the government shutdown, click here.