The partial government shutdown, which began December 22, has left about 800,000 federal workers in financial crisis.
Some 420,000 employees are working without pay — while another 380,000 have been furloughed, or ordered to stay home.
With President Donald Trump threatening that the shutdown would continue for months or even years until his border wall is funded, federal workers are getting more and more stressed — especially those living paycheck to paycheck.
Some have tapped into their savings and have begun maxing out their credit cards.
This Fil-Am from Southern Nevada is a federal worker affected by the shutdown. He wants to remain anonymous for this interview — for fear that he would lose his job.
He talked about how surviving on a day to day basis has been quite a challenge.
“Ako paycheck to paycheck. May mga bills ka mortgage car payment yung mga credit card yung problema papano kaya ito yung late fees.”
Making things worse, his wife is going through chemotherapy and medical bills are piling up. He hasn’t gotten paid for almost two weeks now.
“Papaano yung Medical insurance namin pag hindi mo nabayaran yun iistop yung wala kang coverage.”
He’s expecting the worst if the shutdown continues.
“Mag uumpisa nakong mangutang at hindi ko alam kung ano pa ang susunod dyan.”
Margie Gonzales, a Fil-Am federal employee of 20 years, was getting ready for her retirement.
“I’m supposed to retire at the end of this month, unang naging worry ko is naku yung papeles ko hindi umaandar kase baka walang taong nag aasikaso.”
She said President Trump’s threat to keep the government partially closed — unless his border wall is funded — is actually hurting Americans.
“Yung supposedly pinaglalaban para sa border security ng bansa ang nangyayari ang mga nasasaktan yung mga nag si secure ng bansa.”
Furloughed federal workers are likely to receive back pay for their weeks out of work.
But contractors will not be compensated, and might even be forced to collect unemployment or look for other jobs because of this government crisis.