President Donald Trump’s decision to let the government shut down because Democrats refuse to fund his border wall has federal workers looking into January and beyond, fearing they won’t be able to pay their bills.
In interviews with the Daily Beast, both lawmakers and workers have grown weary with the constant budget battles that take their livelihoods hostage.
According to Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the Republicans have painted themselves into a corner because many of them are backing Trump’s position, which will be a loser for them.
“It’s not going anywhere–it’s about positioning, and unfortunately for Trump and the Republicans, their position is lost,” he explained. “I think that it’s been pretty solid from our caucus that there’s no wall. Money for security, that’s smart, I don’t think people would be [opposed] to discussing that, but you keep doing the wall in exchange for X—that is a hostage-taking that I don’t think we should support.”
The collateral damage of that “hostage taking” would be the federal employees who are fearful the shut-down could extend into February — putting their financial well-being in peril.
“The hardest part will be rent. The second paycheck of the month is my ‘rent’ paycheck. Without it, next month will be tough,” a 24-year-old NASA contractor from California, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution, told the Beast. “If I don’t get paid, my short-term savings will be virtually wiped out, and I’d have to dip into long-term savings to pay for February rent if Trump keeps it up.”
Isabel Chaloux, a 67-year-old janitor who works for the federal government in San Diego, looked only at the short term, saying she is “very worried that Trump is going to ruin” her holiday.
Another federal employee was blunter in her appraisal.
“I won’t have enough to pay my rent” lamented 57-year-old Bonita Williams who does janitorial work at the State Department.
“I can’t afford a shutdown,” she added. “Trump ain’t gonna pay my rent.”
You can read more here.
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.
It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.