December 28, 2018
Trump Administration Suggests Furloughed Workers Can Do Chores For Landlords In Exchange For Rent Money

The government shutdown may be hard on furloughed workers who will be without a paycheck for the foreseeable future, but the Trump administration has an idea that might help -- asking their landlords if they can do chores in exchange for rent money.

It has now been nearly a week since Donald Trump's abrupt change on border wall funding led to a partial government shutdown. After giving indications that he would sign a temporary funding measure to keep the government open, Trump decided to veto the bipartisan measure as he faced growing criticism from conservative media, namely Fox News. That has led to a stalemate that keeps hundreds of thousands of federal government employees out of work indefinitely.

As the Daily Beast noted, the Trump administration has tried to offer some advice on how these workers can get by, though the suggestions have come with quite a bit of criticism. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management on Thursday tweeted financial advice, including a form letter they can use to essentially beg landlords to let them do work in exchange for rent money.

"I will keep in touch with you to keep you informed about my income status and I would like to discuss with you the possibility of trading my services to perform maintenance (e.g. painting, carpentry work) in exchange for partial rent payments," one sample letter read.

The shutdown will now stretch beyond a week after the Senate and House of Representatives adjourned on Thursday without making any progress toward a solution. Democrats have vowed not to include any funding for a border wall -- with many pointing out that Trump repeatedly promised that he would make Mexico pay for the wall --- and their position will be growing stronger in January when they take over control of the House of Representatives.

Donald Trump himself appears to not be backing down from his demand for a border wall, even after he appeared to be loosening on the requirement that it be funded. During a visit with U.S. troops stationed in Iraq, Trump repeated his attacks on Democrats.

It appears that the majority of Americans are not buying the argument, however. A Reuters/IPSOS poll found that 47 percent of Americans hold Donald Trump responsible for the government shutdown, perhaps recalling Trump's own statement in a televised meeting with Democratic leaders that he alone would shut down the government and would accept blame for it. Just 33 percent of those surveyed align with Trump's new stance, claiming it is the fault of Democrats in Congress.