Across The Country, Americans Increasingly Are Suffering From The Trump Shutdown

January 15, 2019
Ohio NASA Engineer: “If you want to fund something, you should not put people out of work and deny American taxpayers access to government services they pay for because you can’t get the outcome you want.”
Colorado Federal Employee: “A shutdown is not a method to resolve controversial political issues.”
Texas Corrections Officer: “At one point the president talked about months or years. That’s not even remotely feasible.”

Eastern Arizona Courier: Government shutdown: Federal prison workers desperate to pay bills. “The bills are due and, for at least 200 Safford federal prison employees, there is no money to pay them. The Courier visited with members of the local American Federation of Government Employees Council of Prisons Union on Monday night to discuss the desperation of two weeks without pay. While some may see tardiness on a bill or two and having a vehicle repossessed as minor mishaps that are sadly unavoidable during a government shutdown, those who work at Safford Federal Prison know that their job will not survive such actions.” [Eastern Arizona Courier, 1/11/19]

Arizona Republic: She's a single mom out of work because of government shutdown. And she had to ask for help. “It took all day for Jo Ann Goodlow to write the plea for help on the GoFundMe website. Even when she was finished, she couldn’t bring herself to post it. Not right away. She worried what people would think. She imagined her dad, a longtime aircraft mechanic for the Federal Aviation Administration, telling her as she grew up in Oklahoma, ‘We work hard for what we have.’ Goodlow finally pushed the button because she had to. She’s been out of work since the partial government shutdown started Dec. 22. She's also a single mother of four sons. ‘I didn’t want to have to go that route,’ Goodlow said from her Glendale home. She’s doing all she can. ‘I have to keep it moving. I have to make it somehow.’ For 19 years, Goodlow has worked for the Department of the Interior in the Bureau of Land Management in Arizona as a realty specialist, managing public lands.” [Arizona Republic, 1/12/19]

Green Valley News & Sun: Local families seek aid as shutdown continues. “Sixty-nine Sahuarita Unified School District families applied for free and reduced meals for their children last week, an indication that local residents are growing anxious as the partial federal government shutdown continues. SUSD spokeswoman Amber Woods said the shutdown prompted the district to remind parents Tuesday via Facebook that the program is available. Thirty-six families applied in the first two days, she said. The shutdown affects about 800,000 federal employees, including Border Patrol, ICE, U.S. Marshals and FBI. About 380,000 of those are deemed non-essential and are furloughed. The others are working but won't be paid until the issue is settled.” [Green Valley News & Sun, 1/12/19]

Arizona Daily Star: Families receiving federal food aid to get February money early. “Arizona residents who get federal help buying food will receive February’s money a few weeks early and are being cautioned to spend carefully so it lasts until March due to the partial government shutdown. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is still available because the U.S. Agriculture Department found a way earlier this week to extend coverage 30 days despite the lack of appropriation from Congress. It is unclear what will happen if the shutdown continues after February. States are being asked to issue SNAP benefits early for February, with a deadline of Jan. 20. ‘We believe that the crisis is resolved in the short term, but we could see more families struggling during middle or late February,’ said Angie Rodgers, president of the Association of Arizona Food Banks. She cautioned families they will need to stretch the funds an extra couple of weeks.” [Arizona Daily Star, 1/11/19]

Arizona Public Media: How Gov't Shutdown Over Border Security Impacts Arizona. “With the current partial government shutdown among the longest in U.S. history, Arizona 360 learned about its impact in Arizona from Brint Milward, director of the University of Arizona School of Government and Public Policy. According to MIlward, approximately 10,000 federal employees in Arizona are either furloughed or working without pay. Milward discussed the more far-reaching effects of the shutdown. ‘You have to remember all the people who depend on the federal government. There are people in private industry, there are people in nonprofits all over the United States whose paychecks actually come from the federal government because they do the federal government's work,’ Milward said. ‘In mental health, in health care and many other areas, this is the way we deliver services.’” [Arizona Public Media, 1/11/19]
Arizona Republic: Arizona cities and towns worry about funding for bus services amid government shutdown. “The federal shutdown has cut off cash that some Arizona cities and towns use to pay for bus service. That could force cutbacks in some places if the government doesn't get back to work soon. With the Federal Transit Administration not operating, cities like Cottonwood and Flagstaff have to pay the full cost of bus service that usually gets significant federal government funding. Valley Metro, which provides a variety of bus, light rail and other transportation services to the Phoenix metro area, also is affected.” [Arizona Republic, 1/10/19]

Arizona Republic: Government shutdown hits tribes: Job losses, bad roads, no health-care access. “To some people, a government shutdown is inconvenient; they can’t visit a museum, and many national parks are closed. But to many people in Indian Country, a government shutdown can be a matter of life or death. That point was driven hard in one small tribal community in rural Nevada, where the entire staff was temporarily laid off, leaving many elders stranded without access to health care, groceries or medicine. The Yomba Shoshone Tribe’s entire revenue stream is through federal government funding, and when that ran out, on Friday, Jan. 4, Tribal Chairman Ronald Snooks issued a letter to all 18 employees outlining this dire situation. The letter stated that employees are furloughed until further notice and that the official letter could be used to obtain unemployment benefits.” [Arizona Republic, 1/08/19]

Nogales International: Effects of ongoing gov’t shutdown felt in Santa Cruz County. “With the the partial shutdown of the federal government now in its third week, people and businesses in Santa Cruz County are feeling and fearing its financial impact. For 36-year-old Alex Lim, a building conservator at Tumacácori National Historical Park who was furloughed soon after the park closed on Dec. 22 as a result of the shutdown, it has meant reaching deeper into his pocket to get by without a paycheck. ‘I’m kind of feeding off of the savings that my wife and I had for house repairs,’ Lim said. ‘That gave us some cushion to live through this period, but (the shutdown) is not something that I look forward to being extended because savings can only be extended so much.’” [Nogales International, 1/08/19]


Denver Post: ‘We will not be held hostage’: Federal workers rally in Denver seeking an end to the shutdown. “A boisterous group of approximately 200 federal workers and their supporters took to the streets of downtown Denver on Thursday to call for an end to the stalemate in Washington, D.C., that has shut down parts of the federal government for nearly three weeks.” … “Irma Abalos said she has been an employee with the federal government in Denver for more than 33 years. Her husband recently had a heart attack and Abalos said things will start getting financially tight at her house if the situation drags on for much longer. ‘I’ve put a screeching halt to all spending,’ she said, as cars honked in support behind her. “A shutdown is not a method to resolve controversial political issues.’” [Denver Post, 1/10/19]

Coloradoan: Here's how the government shutdown is affecting Larimer County. “Nina Burkardt, a research social scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Fort Collins, has been through government shutdowns before in her 20 years as a federal employee. This one seems a little different. ‘This one has seemed endless,’ she said. ‘When (President Donald) Trump said it could last for months or years, it almost seemed like that could be true.’ Burkardt is one of thousands of federal employees in Colorado who are either furloughed or working without pay.” [Coloradoan, 1/11/19]

The Colorado Sun: Unemployment claims by federal employees up in Colorado as government shutdown drags on. “During the shutdown so far, 902 federal workers have filed unemployment claims with the state, Colorado’s Department of Labor said Tuesday. That’s up from 625 on Monday and from 200 on New Year’s Eve.  It’s a tiny fraction of Colorado’s estimated 53,200 federal workers, but about 13 percent of the estimated 6,767 total unemployment claims filed between Dec. 22 and Tuesday, according to the state’s Department of Labor and Employment. Of Coloradans who filed unemployment claims related to the shutdown, 44 percent worked for the Department of the Interior, which includes the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.” [Colorado Sun, 1/9/19]

The Colorado Springs Gazette: Wildfire preparedness in Colorado hurt by government shutdown. “It also could raise the risk of yet another devastating wildfire season in Colorado by halting wildfire preparedness and forest health projects. ‘We have got a lot of wildfire mitigation and preparedness work to do right now before the summer, and sidelining people who do that work is not good for Colorado,’ said Mike Lester, a state forester with the Colorado State Forest Service. It’s particularly critical given that more than 85 percent of the state is in some sort of drought, and the wildfire season is two months longer than in 1970.” [The Colorado Springs Gazette, 1/11/19]

Daily Camera: Boulder-area science community wearies of federal funding stalemate. “As the federal government shutdown slogged through its 18th day on Tuesday, patience was starting to wear thin for the hundreds of researchers across Boulder County whose work and data collection is threatened by the budget impasse. Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, said most scientists he knows look on the situation with ‘dismay and disgust.’ … ‘We are prefunded for the next several months through the end of May,’ Serreze said. ‘Assuming that things get resolved reasonably well, we're okay for now. If things linger, then yeah, were in trouble.’” [Daily Camera, 1/8/19]


WLRN: 'A Dangerous And Irresponsible Experiment': South Florida Workers Feel Worsening Impact of Shutdown. “Daniel Garcia-Barbon’s wish when he was a teenager was to become an air traffic controller. The fast-paced, mistake-free environment of the work seemed thrilling. Now, 10 years since fulfilling his dream, Garcia-Barbon’s job is failing to support him, his wife and two children. The air traffic controller in Miami, who’s working without pay due to the partial government shutdown, says he will now use his savings to pay a mortgage. Spending on other luxuries is no longer an option. ‘I have a four-year-old daughter,’ Garcia-Barbon said on Friday. ‘Her birthday is coming up, and we had a trip to Disney planned. Just yesterday, we decided to cancel the trip.’” … “Robert Guevara, a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, added many airplane safety inspections have ceased because inspectors are furloughed. ‘This is a dangerous and irresponsible experiment that the FAA is conducting with the safety of the American public,’ he said.” [WLRN, 1/13/19]

Palm Beach Post: No pay: Shutdown hits home for Florida federal workers. “When a tree fell on his house during Hurricane Michael, Ray Coleman, Jr., blew through his emergency savings to pay for roof repairs. On Friday, the federal prison guard missed his first paycheck as a result of a government shutdown that has dragged on for three weeks. ‘Today would have been payday,’ Coleman said Friday. ‘You’re trying to recover from a natural disaster, and now you’ve got a man-made disaster coming right on top of it.’ More than 800,000 federal employees missed paychecks this week because of the shutdown. That includes 420,000 workers who must work but aren't getting paid and 380,000 who are locked out of work. Roughly 10,000 of those government workers are in Florida.” [Palm Beach Post, 1/11/19]

Orlando Sentinel: Central Florida begins to feel the sting of the partial federal government shutdown. “Deb Hanna, a transportation security officer at the Orlando International Airport, is among the roughly 800,000 federal workers across the country who are starting to feel the pain of the partial shutdown of the federal government as it stretches into its 19th day. Working without pay since Dec. 22, the 60-year-old Hanna recently called her mortgage company and car loan lender to try to negotiate missing a few payments. And they agreed. But a few of her co-workers at the airport have called in sick in order to work more hours at their second jobs — including as Uber drivers and theme park workers — to pay their bills, she said. Many of her colleagues were not able to negotiate with their apartment complexes about missing a few rent payments as they now begin to see their savings dwindle. ‘It definitely will start getting scary if this continues,’ said Hanna, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 556 labor union, which represents 875 workers at 10 airports in Florida, including 100 at OIA. ‘Everyone is trying to do the best that they can hanging on. …They are worried about when their next paycheck is going to come.’” [Orlando Sentinel, 1/08/19]

Miami Herald: Concourse G closes at Miami International Airport as federal government shutdown drags on. “Miami International Airport’s Concourse G closed at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday — 15 minutes earlier than planned — as the federal government remained shut down for a 22nd day, making it the longest shutdown in U.S. history.”… “Like other federal workers considered essential, TSA screeners have been working without pay throughout a shutdown that began Dec. 22. President Donald Trump continues to demand Congress sign off on $5 billion for a wall on the southern border as part of the legislative package needed to fund parts of the government for another year .” [Miami Herald, 1/12/19]

Tampa Bay Business Journal: Tampa Bay SBA lenders feeling effects of partial government shutdown. “The partial U.S. government shutdown is in its third week with no signs of resolving the impasse, and financial lenders are worried about how small businesses will be affected as no one is available in the nation’s capital to process loans.  As of press date on Jan. 9, the U.S. Small Business Administration is closed down. The queue that holds small business loans waiting to be processed is gone. And now Tampa Bay area banking executives worry that customers are reluctant to apply for a loan, possibly missing a window of opportunity to buy property. ‘The processing for any SBA loan right now through the normal processing channels, which is through E-Tran, is actually blocked out,’ said Patrick Fenech, senior vice president and managing director of SBA lending for American Momentum Bank.” [Tampa Bay Business Journal, 1/11/19]

Tallahassee Democrat: Federal workers in Tallahassee rally for end to government shutdown. “Nicole Trawick, a single mom who works as a correctional officer at the federal prison in Tallahassee, is running out of cash and options as the government shutdown continues with no end in sight. She got her last paycheck Dec. 29 and is down to her last $150. She doesn’t have money for rent next month, her car payment or her electric bill. She can’t even count on the cushion of a tax refund because she hasn’t been paid for all of 2018 and can’t file her taxes. She worries about putting food on the table for her 13-year-old son. ‘I’m emotionally stressed out because my biggest concern is being able to support my son,’ said Trawick, 36. ‘Because I’m all he has. And not being able to feed him or clothe him or keep a roof over his head is very emotionally stressful.’” [Tallahassee Democrat, 1/10/19]

Orlando Sentinel: NASA contractors struggle without pay during government shutdown — and may never see the money. “About 1,400 employees at Kennedy Space Center whose jobs have been deemed ‘non-essential’ — 600 of them represented by this union — have been at home since Dec. 22. To bridge the gap, many of them are using paid vacation days, burning through their savings accounts, cutting back on expenses and trying to get extensions on their home and auto payments. ‘Our rent and our mortgages don’t stop, the electric doesn’t stop, our phones don’t stop. These are all putting people in a predicament that if they live week to week, it’s going to be catastrophic,’ said Steve Ching, a high voltage electrician with engineering firm AECOM. ‘They are holding the employees hostage over this political debate.’ And for contractors, like the members of the union, nothing is guaranteed. They’re not government employees, so they are not assured back pay once everything is resolved.” [Tampa Bay Times, 1/10/19]

Tampa Bay Times: 4 ways you didn’t know the government shutdown is affecting Florida. “At over 18 days and counting, the standoff over President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall has already resulted in the second-longest government shutdown in American history. Although essential services like entitlements remain available, hundreds of thousands of government workers are furloughed or working without pay, skeleton crews are running several major federal agencies — and there’s no end in sight. The federal government bureaucracy touches almost everything, from veteran homelessness to academic research. Many people close to the problem in the Tampa Bay area say the shutdown does not yet pose an existential crisis for their business, but it’s only a matter of time before the situation could become dire.” [Tampa Bay Times, 1/09/19]

Miami Herald: A little less alcohol will be flowing in Miami. Blame the government shutdown. “Eddie Leon, co-founder of M.I.A. Beer Company in Doral, says he’s been working for months on a new sangria product. Yes, sangria. Leon says that the craft-brew wave that helped launched M.I.A in the first place is crashing against choosy millennials who are shifting away from beer to even craftier beverages. Last year’s best-selling item at M.I.A was a hard seltzer, Leon says. But bar goers won’t be slurping down Leon’s sangria, which for now is simply called M.I.A. Sangria, as long as the U.S. government remains shut down. That’s because an agency inside the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms controls winery licenses. M.I.A. does not have one yet and cannot get one until the government reopens.” [Miami Herald, 1/10/19]

Miami Herald: ‘Their lives are on hold’: Miami’s immigration court grinds to a halt because of shutdown. “Now entering its fourth week — and as of Friday, tied for the longest ever — the federal government shutdown has sowed chaos and confusion into an already swollen immigration courts system. Judges and support staff have been furloughed. Lawyers can’t file court motions at the Downtown Miami immigration court. For immigrants facing deportation but who are not being held in detention, hearings are being postponed indefinitely. Anxiety in the immigrant community, already heightened under the Trump administration’s open hostility to immigration, is mounting.” [Miami Herald, 1/13/19]


Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia feels impact from partial federal shutdown. “The federal funding lapse, now the second-longest on the books, is beginning to be acutely felt on the ground in Georgia as the impasse approaches its third week. Nearly 16,000 Georgians, or roughly 22 percent of the state’s federal civilian workforce, are furloughed or working without pay, according to Governing Magazine, and several agencies that have subsisted on leftover money in recent weeks are not expected to make payroll Friday. That’s left many Georgians, as well as dozens of universities, state agencies and localities that rely on Washington dollars for paychecks, grants and other activities, in a state of limbo — or panic.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/09/19]

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia unemployment claims soar for federal workers during shutdown. “Unemployment filings by federal workers have surged in Georgia in the wake of the partial government shutdown. And those figures could rise even more as the closures persist.” [AJC, 1/14/19]

Valdosta Daily Times: Fed shutdown affects South Georgia. “The biggest effect of the partial federal government shutdown on Lowndes County seems to be in the courtroom. About a quarter of the federal government was told to go home Dec. 22 when spending appropriations ran out and Congress could not reach a budget deal with President Donald Trump, who is demanding more than $5 billion for an anti-immigration wall along the Mexican border.” [Valdosta Daily Times, 1/12/19]

WSB-TV: Local federal workers miss their first paycheck in government shutdown. “For the past five years, David Kirsch has worked to ensure Atlanta Airport runways are safe. Now the Marine veteran says he’s having tough conversations with his colleagues and wife. ‘It’s the sad truth, but we may need to consider selling our home,’ Kirsch said on Friday. Hours earlier, Kirsch had taken a look at his first paycheck to read $0.00, joining 800,000 other unpaid federal workers who are grappling with the partial government shutdown.” [WSB-TV, 1/11/19]

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Search for wall funds could hit Georgia projects. “President Donald Trump could divert hundreds of millions of dollars intended for Georgia projects to pay for a wall on the southern border, including hard-fought funding previously set aside for the state’s top economic development project. That could happen because, if Trump declares a national emergency over border security, current law allows him to raid money from the Army Corps of Engineers and military construction projects. Georgia has had money set aside for more than a half-dozen military projects in the past two budget years, as well as Savannah’s port dredging project.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/11/19]

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Federal courts feel pinch from ongoing government shutdown. “The partial government shutdown is beginning to hit metro Atlanta’s federal courts, with some cases grinding to a halt as dollars from Washington dry up. Federal prosecutors and legal staff in the criminal division of the Northern District of Georgia remain on the job — though unpaid — amid the ongoing stalemate. Criminal matters remain the priority in the district, and U.S. Attorney Byung J. ‘BJay’ Pak said the shutdown has not affected pending criminal cases. But the day after Christmas, the district’s top judge ordered a stay on all civil matters to which the federal government is a party.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/08/19]

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Atlanta mayor: Continued federal shutdown will affect airport workers. “Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms posted on Twitter that workers at the world’s busiest airport and their families will be affected if the partial federal government shutdown continues. Bottoms wrote in the Saturday morning post that the Atlanta airport ‘is the busiest in the world and largest job center in the state. More than 26K private, many of whom are hourly workers, and their families will also be impacted if this #governmentshutdown doesn’t end NOW.’ Federal workers including Transportation Security Administration officers, Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are considered essential workers and are working without pay.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/07/19]


Portland Press Herald: With bills due and paychecks in doubt, Maine Coast Guard families see shutdown as ‘big slap in the face.’ “Family members of Coast Guardsmen in Maine say they are both furious and terrified about the economic impact they are facing because of the ongoing federal government shutdown. ‘It’s very scary to know that our bills are due in a few days and people don’t seem to care if we can pay them,’ said Lindsay Scott, whose husband has served in the Coast Guard for nearly 20 years. ‘It’s just a very big slap in the face.’ Scott said she and her 11-year-old son live in Kittery while her husband remains on duty at one of Maine’s five Coast Guard stations. ‘He is gone 200 days out of the year and this is the thanks he is getting,’ Scott said.” [Portland Press Herald, 1/11/19]

Bangor Daily News: Maine family ‘living out of boxes’ as government shutdown freezes home sales. “Several federal agencies are shut down as President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats are gridlocked over the president’s insistence that more than $5 billion be included for a new border wall between the U.S. and Mexico in any forthcoming spending plan. ‘My wife and I support Donald Trump. We agree with border security,’ Jordan Smith told USA Today. ‘But he has to look and see that this is affecting other people’s lives.’” [Bangor Daily News, 1/10/19]
Bangor Daily News: ‘My husband is in the middle of the ocean. If you’re not going to pay him, send him home.’ “That’s bad news for Mainers such as Amanda, a Kennebec County woman whose husband is an active-duty Coast Guard crew member who spends three-month stints at sea. The woman, who did not want to share her last name, said that they had less than $1,000 in their savings account and they were trying to make that money last as long as they could, given uncertainty about how long the shutdown could last. It’s not easy to do, she said, adding that they are contemplating taking out a bank loan to help. ‘We have our mortgage. Groceries. We have to feed our children,’ she said. ‘I’m just hoping that this will be resolved sooner rather than later … My husband is in the middle of the ocean right now. If you’re not going to pay him, send him home.’” [Bangor Daily News, 1/10/19]

Portland Press Herald: Maine home-buying compromised as federal shutdown enters Day 21. “Lavoie, a broker with Keller Williams/Domaine, is buying a building on Deering Avenue and using a Small Business Administration loan to finance part of the transaction. He expected to wrap up the transaction early this year, but his banker is suggesting an extension will be needed. How long? Through August. ‘That’s costing me money,’ said Lavoie, who expects eventual approval of the SBA loan. But the agency is closed – one of the dozens of federal offices shuttered during a budget impasse in Washington. Without the SBA loan, Lavoie can’t nail down other pieces of financing. ‘I can’t even figure out what my costs are,’ he said. Delays caused by the shutdown are only starting to affect the housing market in Maine. In most cases, problems can be traced to the Federal Housing Administration, part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which has programs to help first-time homebuyers, those with low down payments and operators of rental units occupied by low-income residents.” [Portland Press Herald, 1/10/19]

Portland Press Herald: Government shutdown a stinging blow to Maine’s craft breweries. “Owners of craft breweries in Maine are worried that sales could go flat during the federal government shutdown because the agency that processes licenses and approves labels for out-of-state beer sales has been closed since the shutdown began 2½ weeks ago. In York, an expansion of SoMe Brewing Co. – to add York Beach Beer Co. – has been halted because of the shutdown. New breweries and expansions need licensing approval by the federal Tax and Trade Bureau, which is closed, and SoMe’s expansion license was under consideration when the agency went on hiatus Dec. 22. ‘We are losing a considerable amount of money,’ said David Rowland, co-owner of SoMe Brewing. Rowland said he applied for the license shortly after Thanksgiving and expected to be open by now. Even when the government reopens, he has no idea how long it will take before his application is processed.” … “‘We are paying for all of the costs to open a new business, but not getting any of the revenue coming in,” Rowland said. ‘When I’m walking my dog on the beach, people keep asking me, ‘When are you opening up?’ I tell them, ‘I don’t know. Ask the president.’”  [Portland Press Herald, 1/8/19]


Times Herald: Government shutdown could mean missed paycheck for Coast Guard. “Federal workers are continuing to monitor the Blue Water Area's borders and waterways, but whether their next pay check will come on time is unknown. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Bobby Nash said active coast guard members were last paid Dec. 31, with the next payday slated for Jan. 15. But due to the government shutdown, Nash, an assistant public affairs officer for the Ninth Coast Guard District in Cleveland, said they are working without a promised paycheck” [Times Herald, 1/10/19]

Detroit News: Coast Guard could miss next paycheck if shutdown continues. “Coast Guard staff are among an estimated 6,000 federal employees in Michigan going without pay or furloughed as a result of the partial shutdown affecting roughly a fourth of the federal government. Michigan had nearly 53,000 federal employees, including Postal Service workers, as of June 2017, according to Governing magazine. The Michigan employees work for one of nine departments whose funding expired Dec. 21, including the Department of Homeland Security that houses the Coast Guard.” [Detroit News, 1/7/19]

Holland Sentinel: Local brewing companies, distilleries affected by shutdown. “During the shutdown, government applications remain accessible through the TTB website, but no permits can be issued. All non-excepted TTB operations have been suspended, and employees are not allowed to report to work. This has impacted Michigan brewing companies, wineries and distilleries — including Holland’s own New Holland Brewing Co. ‘We have a handful of labels that are in for approval,’ said Sheila Cunningham, director of administrative operations at New Holland Brewing Co. ‘For us, it’s a little different because we have breweries and distilleries that are being affected. We’re in limbo with a lot of things right now.’ According to Cunningham, the delay in approval can directly affect sales.” [Holland Sentinel, 1/11/19]

Detroit Free Press: Government shutdown hits Michigan hard: Here's what employees are saying. “Customs and Border Protection employee Youssef Fawaz could soon be faced with a gut-wrenching decision if the partial government shutdown persists: choosing between putting food on the table for his family and paying his mortgage. … ‘I have a 5-month-old at home and it's really come down to making a determination of: Are we buying diapers and formula next month or are we paying the mortgage next month?’ Fawaz, who works in downtown Detroit, said in an interview with the Free Press. ‘I've run into some issues with my creditors and explaining my situation. They're all understanding ... but they don't have an answer for me. You still have to pay your mortgage.’” [Detroit Free Press, 1/11/19]


News & Observer: Shutdown forces Butner prison officers to work without paychecks. “Correctional officers at the prison complex in Butner are among the federal employees who have been forced to work without pay during the partial government shutdown, and could soon join a lawsuit challenging the policy. They are among the workers and contractors starting to feel the effects of the budget impasse that has stretched on for three weeks. In North Carolina, more than 1,000 federal workers have applied for unemployment benefits because of the shutdown, according to the state Department of Commerce. An estimated 7,800 people in the federal workforce in North Carolina are affected by the shutdown caused by the budget impasse over President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, The Washington Post reports. ‘It’s really stressful because we go to work, a lot of us have 18, 19 years in with no problems, and we do everything they ask us to do, and all we ask is make sure our pay is in our bank accounts, and it’s not,’ Michael Sharp, a Butner worker and union local official, said Friday at a protest outside the federal building in Raleigh. ‘So that’s a problem — that’s a major problem.’” [News & Observer, 1/11/19]

Washington Daily News: As federal shutdown continues, more local services at risk. “At the agricultural service offices located on Airport Drive in Washington, local farmers can see the impact of the shutdown. The Beaufort-Hyde Farm Service Agency is closed, while the Beaufort County Soil and Water Conservation office and Beaufort County Cooperative Extension Service remain open. ‘Farmers in eastern North Carolina interact with their FSA office on a pretty regular basis,’ said N.C. Department of Agriculture Chief Deputy Commissioner David Smith. ‘They're going there to get access to information, loans, programs, records and so forth. By not being able to go into those offices, all of that is put on hold for now.’ With the FSA office closed, area farmers cannot apply for federal loans, including emergency loans made available in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Likewise, Smith says the state's Agricultural Disaster Program requires information and documentation from local FSA offices.” [Washington Daily News, 1/11/19]

Charlotte Observer: How the government shutdown is affecting thousands in North Carolina. “Before reporting for work Thursday as a passenger screener at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Sharda Lloyd had to make another stop — at Crisis Assistance Ministry. Lloyd, who works for the Transportation Security Administration, needed help paying the rent. She’s one of more than 6,300 North Carolinians who work for airport security, federal courts, national parks and other federal agencies who won’t be paid this week, according to the office of U.S. Rep. Alma Adams of Charlotte.” [Charlotte Observer, 1/10/19]

The Lexington Dispatch: Government shutdown impacts local USDA services. “The USDA Farm Services Agency office for Davidson and Davie counties, which employs three people, has been closed since the shutdown began on Dec. 28. This agency is responsible for collecting data and processing documents, including crop reports and loan payments. According to Miller, since the employees have been furloughed, no documents are being processed, which could affect local farmers. ‘The biggest impact right now is there are some federal and even state funds that need FSA action that are not being processed,’ Miller said. ‘I know that in the days leading up to the shutdown, the farm services people tried to get as many payments processed as possible. Depending on how long the shutdown lasts will depend on how badly farmers will be impacted.’” [The Lexington Dispatch, 1/10/19]

WNCN: Government shutdown threatening Fayetteville center for rape victims. “The government shutdown is now threatening agencies that help rape victims. In Fayetteville, the Rape Crisis Center lost its federal funding. Now advocates worry they'll shut down. Employees showed up for work all week knowing they wouldn't get paid.  ‘It doesn't make sense to not be here and to risk taking away the support and services. It's a re-victimization in my eyes,’ said cold case victim advocate Kelsey Gawinski.  The advocacy center depends on federal grant money to pay advocates and help rape victims report the crime, get counseling and go through the court process. That money has been put on hold because of the government shutdown.” [WNCN, 1/10/19]

WGHP: Local families may have harder time affording food if partial government shutdown drags on. “A spokesperson from the Department Of Social Services office in Greensboro, where people apply for SNAP, told FOX8 people likely wouldn’t be impacted until February. He declined to do an interview because he didn’t want people to worry about something that might not happen. Others can’t help but be concerned. ‘It's really going to be sad,’ said Jackqueline Wintons, a Greensboro resident. ‘It's really going to be hard.’ Wintons receives SNAP benefits. ‘I feel for mothers with children, because they are the ones that really depend on this program to make ends meet, and senior citizens,’ Wintons said.” [WGHP, 1/8/19]


Columbus Dispatch: For many Ohio federal employees, shutdown means hard choices. “For more than 6,500 Ohioans employed by the federal government, Friday marked a grim milestone: The first day they have missed a paycheck since the government partially shut down Dec. 22. What it means varies, but it’s never a win. For the 10 married couples who work at the Federal Correctional Institution in Elkton, it meant no income whatsoever until the government reopens. For others, such as the roughly 100 bargaining-unit employees at the IRS office in Columbus, it means a hard look at the bills to determine which expenses can be eliminated and which can be reduced. For many, it meant calls to creditors laden with apologies. For the luckier ones, it means just dipping into savings. For at least 558 Ohioans, the loss of income has been grim enough that they’ve already applied for unemployment benefits: Since Dec. 29, according to Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, that many federal employees have filed claims.”  … “Fred Yoder, a feed-corn and soybean farmer near Plain City, said farmers hurt by President Donald Trump’s tariffs were told they’d be paid extra to offset the loss. The catch: They won’t be able to apply for new payments until after the government reopens. Right now, the offices where a farmer would apply are closed. ‘It’s all come to a screeching halt because of the government shutdown,’ he said.“ [Columbus Dispatch, 1/11/19] Ohio federal workers unhappy over pay missed in shutdown. “Unlike at the public safety related agencies, most of the workers at NASA Glenn Research Center in Brook Park have been furloughed, reports Paul Greenberg, an executive vice president of the union for the institution’s engineering staff. More than 1,500 civil servants and roughly an equal number of contractors have been idled, says Greenberg, who also will miss his first paycheck on Friday.” … “The Cleveland Heights resident is outraged that federal workers’ paychecks and the services they provide are being held hostage over a political squabble. ‘If you want to fund something, you should not put people out of work and deny American taxpayers access to government services they pay for because you can’t get the outcome you want,’ says Greenberg. ‘That’s irresponsible. That’s not how you run a government.’ He says he’s offended by Trump’s claims that federal employees support his stance, and that most of those working without pay are Democrats. He says Trump has no data to support those statements. ‘It is odious and offensive to suggest we are proud to be political pawns in this because we support what he’s doing, and astonishing to suggest that it’s OK not to pay people because they’re Democrats,’ says Greenberg. ” [, 1/7/19]

WCMH: Columbus air traffic controllers keep working through shutdown. “Their job is to protect the passengers in the skies, but the partial government shutdown has thousands of air traffic controllers working without pay or furloughed.  There are 41 air traffic controllers at John Glenn Columbus International Airport. Three are furloughed, eight are still in training and 33 that must come into work without getting paid. ‘There are aircraft mechanics, aircraft certification specialist, there's engineers, architects, air traffic controllers, support specialist and we all work together as a whole to make the national airspace system run safely. It's the busiest in the world. When you start furloughing pieces of those, you're peeling away layers of safety,’ said Mike Weekley, the local president of NATCA.” [WCMH, 1/9/19]

WJW: ‘It’s very difficult’: Local NASA employees affected by government shutdown. “Paul Greenberg works as a NASA scientist in Cleveland. He’s also executive director of his labor union for NASA employees. This is the first day Greenberg and many federal workers did not receive a paycheck since the shutdown started last month. ‘Well, it’s very stressful, you know; we’re not being paid,’ Greenberg said.” [WJW, 1/11/19]


Philadelphia Inquirer: Their paychecks showing $0, Philly-area federal workers get a price break at museums — but no stress relief. It’s no question that the partial government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s proposed $5.7 billion border wall, which became the longest in American history on Saturday at 22 days, is hurting thousands of Philadelphians. .. More than 45,000 of the 800,000 federal employees in the country live in the Philadelphia region. Marcine Washington, a federal employee who visited the Franklin Institute for free on Saturday with her son Reggie and 5-year-old granddaughter, said that ‘things that are supposed to get paid aren’t getting paid this month.’ ‘This is the first paycheck that’s been skipped,’ she said, declining to say where she works out of fear of jeopardizing her job. ‘Who knows what’s going to happen?’” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/12/19]

Philadelphia Inquirer: ‘We can only go so long’: Thousands of Philly federal workers just missed their paycheck. “Friday was supposed to be payday, but the Bermans are among 800,000 federal workers who didn’t get checks due to the partial shutdown that began Dec. 22. Bills — credit card, car payment, car insurance — will come due in just a few days for the Bermans, who both work for the IRS office near 30th Street Station and live in Northeast Philadelphia So Alex Berman, 47, is dipping into a ‘Don’t Touch’ account so he can pay the minimum amount due on the bills. He’ll deal with the interest fees later. Vicki Berman said she planned to open an unemployment claim even though at any moment there’s a chance she might get called in as an essential employee. Depending on how long this continues, the couple might also need to ask family for help. ‘We’re trying to hold it the best we can for our son,’ said Vicki Berman, 48. He’s 7. The Philadelphia region is home to more than 45,000 federal workers plus more federal contractors, though not all of them have been affected by the shutdown. The exceptions include whose who work for the Veterans Administration in East Falls and Defense Department contractors. But thousands of Philly workers employed at agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are anxious about how much longer they’ll have to sit at home as work piles up or how much longer they’ll be forced to work without pay.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/11/19]

PennLive: Payless payday is 'big concern' for federal prison workers: Pa. union official. “The ripples from the government shutdown are reaching as the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary and satellite camp, where about 500 staff members are about to experience their first payless payday. ‘Unless a miracle happens,’ the staffers this weekend will watch a payday come and go without a paycheck, according to Andrew Kline, president of Local 148 of the American Federation of Government Employees at the prison. ‘We're working,’ he said. ‘We can't strike to protest. Every day we continue business like any other day.’ Workers are paid bi-monthly through direct deposit. Not only will they miss their compensation this weekend, but there's no sign the shutdown will end anytime soon. ‘It is a pretty big concern,’ Kline said, adding that ‘no other employer in the United States can get away having you come to work and not paying you.’” [PennLive, 1/10/19]

Philadelphia Inquirer: Federal workers rally in Philly to protest shutdown. “About 200 federal employees, union leaders, and supporters rallied in front of the Liberty Bell on Tuesday morning to protest the partial government shutdown and pay freeze. They carried bare-bones signs made from torn pieces of cardboard — ‘I’d rather be working for the greater good,’ one read — and spoke of not being able to pay their bills, of feeling like pawns, of feeling disrespected. .. With more than 45,000 federal employees, the Philadelphia metropolitan region has one of the largest concentrations of government workers outside of the Washington area.” … “The protesters who gathered on a dreary, chilly morning are among the thousands of employees who have either been furloughed or forced to work without pay since the partial shutdown began Dec. 22 because of a dispute over the $5.7 billion that President Donald Trump is demanding to build a wall between Mexico and the United States. Instead, the president has ‘built a wall between his administration and federal workers,’ said EPA paralegal specialist Jan Nation, ‘a wall of distrust.’ Many workers said that this shutdown felt different from previous ones, that this time, it was hard to see a way forward.”  [Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/8/19]

Philadelphia Tribune: Philadelphia federal workers demand end to shutdown. “For the first time in decades, Karen Ricks and Veronica Sorrell said they had to file for unemployment. Ironically, both have jobs. Both work for the Internal Revenue Service. Ricks, of Darby, has been there for more than 30 years, and Sorrell, of Philadelphia, has been there for nearly 20. But Ricks and Sorrell, who each described themselves as the breadwinner for their family, won’t receive paychecks while the partial federal government shutdown drags on.” … “‘I’m hoping that the Senate will go head and vote,’ Ricks said. ‘I think if they just forget about it [funding for Trump’s wall], go ahead and override [the president’s] veto and work out that wall stuff later, that’s what’s best for the country.’”  [Philadelphia Tribune, 1/8/19]

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: More than 2,000 Pa. federal employees ask for unemployment benefits. “Through the third week of a partial federal government shutdown, more than 2,300 federal workers across Pennsylvania have filed for unemployment benefits, a potential strain on the state’s unemployment system during its busiest time of the year. The rush of applications is a sign that federal employees — who work in ‘nonessential’ departments like agriculture, commerce and transportation, housing and urban development — are bracing for the prospect of a lengthy shutdown. … According to the state labor department, about 1,200 unemployment claims were filed by federal employees during the first two weeks of the shutdown — from Dec. 22 to Jan. 5 — the most recent full-week data available. Last year during that same time period, there were 142.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1/11/19]

WNEP: Airport Workers Trying to Get by During Longest Government Shutdown in US History. “Here at home, federal workers are starting to wonder how they will make ends meet. At the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, federal workers are trying to balance their budgets until the shutdown ends. Leonard Ameika of Duryea says this is the first time in his life he has worked and did not get paid. Ameika works as an air traffic controller at the airport in Luzerne County. Because of the government shutdown, his pay check was reduced to zeros. ‘First time in my life I have come to work for 40 hours a week, 80 hours in a pay period, and received a paycheck for $0 for the work I have done,’ Ameika said. Union officials say there are more than 20 employees who are not being paid during the government shutdown. ‘Everything we do is live and moving at 500 miles per hour, so we need to separate our at-home life from our work life. When you are not getting paid, it is very tough.’” … “Ameika joins the hundreds of thousands of other government workers across the country who weren't paid. ‘When you hear the rhetoric of this can go on for months or years and you're trying to figure out how to live your life with no income even though you are working for months or possibly years and it has nothing to do with you,’ Ameika said.” [WNEP, 1/12/19]

Philadelphia Inquirer: Federal workers not getting paid spur jump in Pennsylvania unemployment benefits, auditor general says. “Applications for unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania were up nearly 850 percent in the last week of December compared with the same week the year before, thanks to a surge in requests from workers as a result of the partial federal government shutdown, state officials said Tuesday. In addition to government employees, the shutdown is driving those who work for federal contractors, whom the government won’t reimburse, to seek unemployment benefits, Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said. Across the country, roughly four million people work on a contract basis for the federal government, ‘many in low-wage or part-time jobs,’ DePasquale said.  ‘While I’m glad the state is ready to assist, the unemployment compensation system was not designed to handle what has turned into a hostage situation,’ he said in a statement. DePasquale said it’s his job ‘to speak up whenever a situation results in extra costs to taxpayers or a disruption to our economy.’” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/8/19]

The Morning Call: See where federal workers in Pennsylvania live, what they earn without a shutdown. “‘The general consensus where I work is you are just a pawn in the game of those [politicians] who work in D.C,” said Lisa Thomas, who is working without pay as a recreation specialist at Allenwood federal prison in Union County. “They don’t think about us.’ It began with Trump’s Dec. 22 decision to partially close the government when Congress did not allocate $5.7 billion to build a wall along the Mexican border as he requested.” [Morning Call, 1/12/19]


Dallas Morning News: Here is how Dallas-area federal workers are feeling while government shutdown nixes paychecks. “The bucks stop now. For federal employees working without pay in North Texas and across the country, Friday — which marked the record for the longest government shutdown — was the day they’d dreaded. It was payday, and their stubs show $0.00; their direct deposits came up empty.” … “Trump on Friday publicly urged landlords and bill collectors to go easy on federal employees while the shutdown continues. ‘I've been a landlord for a long time... they work with people — I would encourage them to be nice and easy,’ Trump said. Coats shook his head angrily when asked if Trump’s suggestion might work. ‘I’m working without pay. I’m actually doing my job,’ he said. ‘Quit holding my paycheck hostage.’” [Dallas Morning News, 1/11/19]

Texas Tribune: At least 35,000 Texans with federal jobs aren’t being paid because of the shutdown. “The Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park's website boasts a quote from the president the Central Texas park is named for: ‘All the world is welcome here.’ But thanks to a partial federal shutdown, the park is closed to the public. It’s a fittingly disjointed message for a disjointed moment. From Johnson City to Houston to practically everywhere else in the state, the impact of this partial federal shutdown is being felt — and raising questions of when federal parks will reopen, when affected federal employees will be paid and when Americans can rely on government services. President Donald Trump has refused to sign a congressional spending bill unless the legislative branch appropriates $5 billion for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.” [Texas Tribune, 1/11/19]

Times Record News: Government workers hold yard sale to weather shutdown. “Braving the low temperatures Saturday morning many people attended the Federal Employees’ Government Shutdown Yard Sale held by workers from three agencies in Wichita Falls. The sell started at 7 a.m. and people had already formed a line by 6:45 a.m. up and down Nassau Drive. After the initial rush of people the crowd was steady for the workers as they tried to stay warm. The government shutdown reached it's 22nd day Saturday making it the longest on record. The previous record was 21 days in 1995-1996 during the Clinton administration.” [Times Record News, 1/12/19]

KIIITV: South Texas prison employees feel effects of government shutdown. “Federal employees in South Texas, like others throughout the nation, woke up on Friday morning without a paycheck. That's three weeks of work without compensation and workers at a federal prison in Three Rivers said they're feeling the full effects of the government shut down. ‘This one's the most scary because it feels like there's really no end in sight,’ Richard Wechsler, with the prison said.” [KIITV, 1/11/19]

Dallas Morning News: Texas drinkers beware: Government shutdown hits beer, wine and spirits production. “As a partial government shutdown grows ever longer over President Donald Trump’s demand for a border wall, the lapse in federal funding is starting to ripple through the U.S. in some unexpected ways. Just ask the alcohol industry in Texas and beyond about a problem that is proving to be more than pint-size. Some wineries, breweries and other producers are jammed up by the closing of a Treasury Department agency — part of the 25 percent of the government that’s unfunded — that approves labels for new products to be sold across state lines and permits for new booze-related facilities.” [Dallas Morning News, 1/10/19]

Austin American-Statesman: Federal shutdown delays Travis County affordable housing project. “The federal government’s partial shutdown is delaying a Travis County plan to build affordable housing and expand county offices on its Airport Boulevard campus. The $30 million complex, known as Travis Flats, will be built at 5325 Airport Blvd., next to existing county offices, and will include more office space as well as 146 apartments, with 122 designated for low-income residents. Before the financing troubles arose, the project had an expected opening date of fall 2020.” [Austin American-Statesman, 1/09/19]

Beaumont Enterprise: Shutdown realities come into focus in Beaumont, SE Texas. “At the federal prison, the lack of pay is dangerous, said corrections officer and union representative Christopher Boss. ‘Staff is required to stay on point and have their wits about them,’ he said. ‘If people are worried about their financial status and not focused — that’s when people get hurt.’ Boss said paying employees isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue, instead one that all Americans should care about.’” …  “‘If you don’t have law enforcement, what do you have?’ he said. ‘At one point the president talked about months or years. That’s not even remotely feasible. We can’t have people leaving their jobs here. It gets extremely dangerous extremely quickly.’ Many of the staff members are single parents, he said, and corrections officers are already some of the lowest-paid federal employees. At some point, he said, something has to give. Boss recently sent out information to workers about how to apply for unemployment, something he called disconcerting. ‘We swore oaths to protect the public but we need Southeast Texas and federal lawmakers to support us,’ he said. ‘The government needs to stop using federal employees as pawns.’” [Beaumont Enterprise, 1/09/19]

Houston Public Media: Shutdown To Delay Harvey Recovery Work, Flood Mitigation. “Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo wants to make it easier for the public to get details about Harvey recovery and flood mitigation, but the federal government shutdown is prompting the county to put some of that work on hold. The county will push ahead with work it’s paying for on its own. But Russ Poppe, executive director of the Harris County Flood Control District, is recommending a freeze on some projects that depend on federal block grants.” [Houston Public Media, 1/08/19]

KXAN: Government shutdown halts USDA loans, dashes hopes for homeownership. “24-year-old Logan Zimmerhanzel and his wife had just been approved for one of those loans days before the shutdown started. They are newly married, both from Lockhart but working in Austin, and living with Zimmerhanzel's parents as they save to buy a home of their own.  They were looking at homes in rural areas around Austin because that fits the lifestyle they want as well as their budget. Then they found the home of their dreams in Cedar Creek -- vaulted ceilings, an acre of land, a yard for the dogs to run in -- it seemed perfect. ‘We made sure we knocked [the paperwork] out as fast as possible, of course, we didn't know there was going to be a government shutdown,’ Zimmerhanzel explained. His loan officer advised they take out a USDA loan, so he applied and was approved days before the shutdown happened for a single family housing loan guarantee. ‘And the reason we went for USDA [loan] is because of the 100 percent guaranteed financing, that they would pay for our down payment as long as we take care of the appraisal, take care of all the septic inspection, the house inspection,’ Zimmerhanzel said.  He and his wife filled out all the necessary paperwork and were set to close on the house on January 17.  But his loan officer called last week with bad news. ‘He received all my paperwork, everything was fine he received my IRS documents,’ Zimmerhanzel said. ‘He told me literally he has everything he needs for me to move on, but the government was shut down and it puts me at a direct halt.’” [KXAN, 1/07/19]


Appleton Post-Crescent: Appleton police Chief Todd Thomas: Government shutdown impacts local law enforcement. “Police Chief Todd Thomas believes the government shutdown is starting to make an impact on the Fox Cities. Thomas joined leaders from across the country Tuesday in a media call with the Washington D.C.-based National Immigration Forum to address the shutdown's effect on local communities. ‘I don't think our citizens have been truly informed enough about the impact that this has on them and some of the safety issues in our community,’ Thomas said during the call. Thomas said the shutdown impacts the Appleton Police Department's reliance on federal law enforcement partners and funding for programs and equipment.” … “Thomas said shutdowns take a long time to recuperate from financially. He said it took the police department a year to recover the funding lost in last year's three-day shutdown. ‘That was a year where we didn't have money to fund heroin and meth amphetamine investigations, and also, a year we didn't have money to provide some equipment for our officers,’ Thomas said.  Thomas said he is disappointed to see some law enforcement workers work without pay and believes that if the shutdown continues, the weight of federal agencies will fall on to the local level. ‘The shutdown will eventually start to shift to some additional law enforcement duty and responsibilities onto your local law enforcement agencies,’ Thomas said. ‘This is going to add more work to our plates and I think every (police) chief will probably tell you that our plates are already full.’” [Appleton Post-Crescent, 1/08/19]

Appleton Post-Crescent: Government shutdown: Wisconsin food banks worry more people could struggle to afford food. “As the federal government shutdown drags on, food banks across Wisconsin are bracing for an increase in the number of people who need help finding their next meal. Patti Habeck, president of Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, which has warehouses in Little Chute and Milwaukee, said if the shutdown isn't resolved soon, her organization will plan on seeing more people looking for help. Thousands of federal employees in Wisconsin have already gone weeks without pay. ‘We’ll be making sure that we have extra food prepared and ready to go out to the pantries,’ she said.” [Appleton Post-Crescent, 1/08/19]