President Donald Trump took another swing at his opponents Thursday morning, claiming that the majority of civil servants suffering under the current government shutdown are mostly Democrats.
“Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?,” Trump tweeted, without providing any proof for his assertion.
But for these federal employees, the shutdown isn’t just a matter of political brinkmanship. The gridlock in Washington over border wall funding is hurting their livelihoods and their ability to pay for basic necessities.
And now they’re taking to social media, using the hashtag #shutdownstories, to air their complaints about the shutdown, letting the public and lawmakers know that not getting paid isn’t easy for working families — especially during the holidays.
A mother worried about paying for her diabetic son’s insulin treatments. Another mother voiced concern about making rent without pay on meager savings. Yet another government worker said he would have to choose between healthcare and rent if the shutdown persists. One man, in a now-deleted tweet, said the shutdown left him homeless.
The shutdown is estimated to affect 800,000 workers, 380,000 of whom are furloughed, at home without pay, according to estimates from the Senate Appropriations Committee. The other 420,000 federal workers are deemed “essential,” and will have to keep working without pay through the shutdown.
Most government employees expect to eventually get back pay when the spending bill is passed and the government reopens. But government contractors aren’t so lucky: they're essentially jobless until then.
In the meantime, many of these federal and contracted workers are taking to social media to share their strife, using the hashtag #shutdownstories.
The Trump administration isn’t giving workers much hope that the impasse will end anytime soon either. No votes are scheduled in Congress this week, and Trump has shown little appetite for a compromise, vowing to keep the government shuttered for as long as it takes.
And if that doesn't work, he's made it clear he's more than happy to blame Democrats. But the voting public, doesn’t seem to agree with the president, and his approval rating is dipping as the shutdown drags on, according to a new poll.
Cover image: The U.S. Capitol is seen as a shutdown affecting parts of the federal government appeared no closer to ending, with President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats locked in a hardening standoff over border wall money, in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)