Federal employees prepare for a long shutdown

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A quarter of the federal government will likely begin the new year out of work or working without pay.

For the 380,000 federal employees on furlough and the other 420,000 working without pay, this means it’s time to start making plans for how to pay January bills without the promise of their next paycheck as part of the government remains shutdown.
The US Office of Personnel Management tweeted out sample letters for federal employees to send to their creditors, mortgage companies or landlords. The letters suggest that employees ask to pay a reduced amount or create a payment plan in the coming months because they are out of work and not getting paid during the shutdown.

Each sample letter ends with, “I appreciate your willingness to work with me and your understanding during this difficult time.”
The sample letter for employees to send to their landlords suggests they offer to trade services like painting or carpentry work “in exchange for partial rent payments.”

Trump says workers support the shutdown

On Christmas Day, speaking from the Oval Office, Trump said that many federal workers support the shutdown. He said, “But many of those workers have said to me and communicated, stay out until you get the funding for the wall.” On Thursday, he tweeted, “Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?”
Trump offered no evidence that most of the 800,000 people working without pay or not working belong to the Democratic Party.

“The federal government is an apolitical workforce comprised of hardworking veterans, law enforcement officers, scientists, analysts, janitors, nurses and many other civil servants all with diverse backgrounds and demographics,” J. David Cox Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, told CNN in a statement. “A government shutdown doesn’t hurt any one political party or any one federal employee more than another, it hurts all of them.”

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