News by VICE

Coast Guard removed its tip sheet that suggested furloughed workers have garage sales or become “mystery shoppers”

The Coast Guard apparently no longer believes that garage sales are an effective substitute for paychecks.

by Rex Santus
Jan 11 2019, 5:26pm

The Coast Guard apparently no longer believes that garage sales are an effective substitute for paychecks.

The Coast Guard Support Program has removed a tip sheet from its website Wednesday that told furloughed employees at the branch to make due without their paychecks by having garage sales, babysitting, or dog-walking, the Coast Guard confirmed. The document — originally reported by the Washington Post on Wednesday, although it’s unclear when the sheet originally appeared — also suggested that furloughed workers tutor children or become “mystery shoppers.”

“Retailers are desperate to check how their in-store customer service is and will employ you to shop and rate their service,” the document said. “Bankruptcy is a last option.”

The Coast Guard has now walked back those handy tips, which triggered backlash from top lawmakers and the general public, and said the sheet did not align with its values.

"The information in this document does not reflect the Coast Guard's current efforts to support its workforce during the lapse," Coast Guard spokesman Chad Saylor told USA TODAY. "It has been removed from the CG Support website."

The government shutdown, in its 21st day, is now tied for the longest-ever, as hundreds of thousands of federal workers missed their first paychecks Friday. So far, President Donald Trump has shown little willingness to negotiate with Congress to put nearly 800,000 federal employees back to work, as he holds fast to his demand for $5.7 billion for his promised border wall. Democrats have repeatedly said they won’t put that in the budget. On Thursday, Trump once again hinted that he was prepared to declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress to build the wall, calling it his “absolute right.”

When asked about the “human pain” of workers who have lived three weeks without a paycheck, Trump replied: Other people are in worse pain.

"You know who has more human pain?” Trump said. “The parents of people who had children killed by an illegal immigrant that should have never been in the country. Do you know who has more pain? The husband that lost the wife or the wife that lost the husband killed by an illegal immigrant who came in five or six times who shouldn’t be here. That’s the human pain.”

In reality, undocumented immigrants are far less likely to commit crimes than American-born citizens.

Cover image: Internal Revenue Service worker Christine Helquist looks on during a federal workers protest rally at the Federal Building Thursday, Jan., 10, 2019, in Ogden, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)