Federal workers grow frustrated as government shutdown drags on
As President Donald Trump continues to demand funding for a border wall, an estimated 25 percent of the federal workforce will be affected until the shutdown is over.
"I can tell you it's not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they would like to call it," Trump said on Christmas. "And if you don't have that, then we're just not opening."
The president also said that federal workers support the wall, but some who live paycheck to paycheck are worried about when they might see their next one.
Loreen Targos is a local steward in a public sector union and a physical scientist with the EPA, which shut down at midnight. She says she has two mortgages to pay and thinks what’s happening with the federal government right now is “disgusting.”
Employees like Targos received an email that referred them to the Office of Personnel Management for additional guidance.
The Office of Personnel Management tweeted suggestions for workers to send to creditors, landlords and banks if they can't make payment on time. Some of its ideas were to trade painting and carpentry work for rent payments.
"That's absolutely unrealistic," Targos said. "Federal workers are going to be penalized for not paying their bills on time when we just want to go back to work and do the jobs we were hired to do."
On Thursday, President Trump tweeted that most federal employees are Democrats but workers say their politics shouldn't matter.
"If he wants to imagine we are Democrats, instead of us being human beings and civil servants, that's his problem and I hope Congress steps up and is able to be the adults in the room," Targos said.