This latest partial government shutdown is having far-reaching consequences for federal employees. Since the shutdown was triggered at midnight on December 22, 800,000 employees have been forced to work without immediate pay, or to go on furlough. Just last week, President Donald Trump threatened that he is prepared to allow the shutdown to continue for months — or even years — unless Democrats agree to fund the planned border all, leaving those employees unsure as to when they will be receiving their next paycheck, along with their back pay.
People being affected by the lack of regular salary are being forced to resort to food banks in order to feed their families, and are having to resort to other desperate measures to make ends meet. Those employees include those working with the Coast Guard, according to a report by MSN.
The Coast Guard Support Program published a document on Wednesday, one which offered suggestions on how families being affected by the shutdown can cope without their paychecks.
“To get by without pay, consider holding a garage sale, babysitting, dog-walking, or serving as a ‘mystery shopper.'”
The organization was originally set up to assist members of the Coast Guard with “mental-health issues or other concerns about their lives, including financial wellness.”
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) January 10, 2019
“Bankruptcy is a last option,” the document added.
The Coast Guard is the only military service that receives its funding from the Department of Homeland Security, which is one of the agencies that has been affected by the shutdown.
Approximately 8,500 civilian personnel working for the Coast Guard are currently having to go without regular paychecks. Their last paycheck was issued on December 22.
Lt. Cmdr. Scott McBride, a service spokesman, explained that of those, “6,400 are on indefinite furlough, while 2,100 are working without pay after being identified as essential workers.”
The advice sheet also suggested that employees should avoid “burying their heads in the sand,” and instead “stay in charge of the situation by getting a clear understanding of what’s happening.”
It didn’t take long for the media to pick this advice sheet up and to start asking questions, prompting the Coast Guard Support Program to remove the sheet from an online platform. According to McBride, the sheet “does not reflect the Coast Guard’s current efforts to support our workforce during this lapse in appropriations. As such, this guidance has been removed.”
Federal employees have been hit hard by the shutdown as Trump continues to demand $5 billion in spending for his long-promised wall along the country’s southern border. The president has insisted that he has been receiving calls from government employees saying they support his cause to get the wall, and are happy to go without pay.
This claim comes despite the fact that the White House phones are currently delivering an automated message as a result of the shutdown, per the Independent.