/Thousands Of Federal Workers Just Missed Their First Paycheck

Thousands Of Federal Workers Just Missed Their First Paycheck

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers have missed their first paycheck of the year due to the ongoing partial government shutdown as President Donald Trump remains no closer to ending a stalemate over his border wall with Democrats.

Pay for about 800,000 government employees lapsed nearly three weeks ago, and Friday marks the first wave of missed paychecks. Operations at nine departments, including Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury, the Environmental Protection Agency and NASA, have been affected.

The government shutdown began Dec. 22 and is now the second-longest ever. Because of the lapse in funding for roughly a quarter of the government, about 380,000 workers have been furloughed and sent home while 420,000 continue to work as “essential” employees but without pay. Many of the essential workers are law enforcement personnel in the Department of Homeland Security, including Border Patrol and Transportation Security Administration agents.

Many stories of federal workers anxious about paying their bills have emerged, even as thousands of employees have continued to work without any guarantee they’ll be compensated after the shutdown ends.

Related: Government shutdown continues 

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A visitor looks though a closed entrance door to Federal Hall, due to the partial government shutdown, across from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. U.S. stocks climbed following last week’s rally with investors piling into small-capitalization stocks amid the resumption of trade talks with China. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

UNITED STATES – JANUARY 7: Tourists walk past a sign announces that the National Gallery of Art is closed due to the partial government shut down on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. The standoff between President Trump and Congress over a spending package to fund nine government agencies reached its 17th day Monday, making this shut down the third-longest on record. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 07: A sign explaining that areas near the National Gallery of Art are closed due to a partial shutdown of the U.S. government is seen, on January 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. The government shutdown is going into its third week with Congressional Democrats and Republicans at a stalemate on a bipartisan solution to President Donald Trump’s demands for more money to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – JANUARY 7: A sign announces that the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden and ice rink are closed due to the partial government shut down on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. The standoff between President Trump and Congress over a spending package to fund nine government agencies reached its 17th day Monday, making this shut down the third-longest on record. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 07: Restrooms at East Potomac Park are closed due to a partial shutdown of the U.S. government, on January 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. The government shutdown is going into its third week with Congressional Democrats and Republicans at a stalemate on a bipartisan solution to President Donald Trump’s demands for more money to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 07: The road that leads to Hains Point at East Potomac Park is closed due to a partial shutdown of the U.S. government, on January 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. The government shutdown is going into its third week with Congressional Democrats and Republicans at a stalemate on a bipartisan solution to President Donald Trump’s demands for more money to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he arrives at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2019, after meetings at Camp David. – US President Donald Trump stood firm Sunday on his demand for billions of dollars to fund a border wall with Mexico, claiming ‘tremendous’ support inside his camp on the contentious issue which has forced a government shutdown now entering its third week.’We have to build the wall,’ Trump told reporters as he left the White House for the Camp David presidential retreat. ‘It’s about safety, it’s about security for our country. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he arrives at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2019, after meetings at Camp David. – US President Donald Trump stood firm Sunday on his demand for billions of dollars to fund a border wall with Mexico, claiming ‘tremendous’ support inside his camp on the contentious issue which has forced a government shutdown now entering its third week.’We have to build the wall,’ Trump told reporters as he left the White House for the Camp David presidential retreat. ‘It’s about safety, it’s about security for our country. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he arrives at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2019, after meetings at Camp David. – US President Donald Trump stood firm Sunday on his demand for billions of dollars to fund a border wall with Mexico, claiming ‘tremendous’ support inside his camp on the contentious issue which has forced a government shutdown now entering its third week.’We have to build the wall,’ Trump told reporters as he left the White House for the Camp David presidential retreat. ‘It’s about safety, it’s about security for our country. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

TOPSHOT – US President Donald Trump speaks as he arrives at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2019, after meetings at Camp David. – US President Donald Trump stood firm Sunday on his demand for billions of dollars to fund a border wall with Mexico, claiming ‘tremendous’ support inside his camp on the contentious issue which has forced a government shutdown now entering its third week.’We have to build the wall,’ Trump told reporters as he left the White House for the Camp David presidential retreat. ‘It’s about safety, it’s about security for our country. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Transportation Security Administration officers (TSA) stand screen passengers at the departure area of the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California, on 5 January, 2019. – TSA staff are taking sick leave in record numbers since the partial government shutdown forced them to work without pay from December 22, 2018. Shortly after the new Congress was sworn in on January 4, 2019, the House approved legislation to fund homeland security operations until February 8 and several other agencies through September — but no money for a wall. Trump has said he would veto any bill that does not include funding for the barrier and the Republican-run Senate has said it would not consider anything that does not pass muster with the president. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Transportation Security Administration officers (TSA) stand screen passengers at the departure area of the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California, on 5 January, 2019. – TSA staff are taking sick leave in record numbers since the partial government shutdown forced them to work without pay from December 22, 2018. Shortly after the new Congress was sworn in on January 4, 2019, the House approved legislation to fund homeland security operations until February 8 and several other agencies through September — but no money for a wall. Trump has said he would veto any bill that does not include funding for the barrier and the Republican-run Senate has said it would not consider anything that does not pass muster with the president. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Transportation Security Administration officers (TSA) stand on duty at the departure area of the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California, on 5 January, 2019. – TSA staff are taking sick leave in record numbers since the partial government shutdown forced them to work without pay began on Deember 22, 2018. Shortly after the new Congress was sworn in on Thursday, the House approved legislation to fund homeland security operations until February 8 and several other agencies through September — but no money for a wall. Trump has said he would veto any bill that does not include funding for the barrier and the Republican-run Senate has said it would not consider anything that does not pass muster with the president. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

A US Coast Guard vessel patrols New York Harbor waters off Battery Park on January 5, 2019, in New York, as the US government shutdown enters its third week. – While most of the US military is unaffected, about 42,000 Coast Guard members are working without pay. That branch falls under the Department of Homeland Security, not the Pentagon. (Photo by DON EMMERT / AFP) (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, CA – JANUARY 04: Volunteers Alexandra (R) and Ruth Degen prepare to clean a restroom at Joshua Tree National Park on January 4, 2019 in Joshua Tree National Park, California. Volunteers with ‘Friends of Joshua Tree National Park’ have been cleaning bathrooms and trash at the park as the park is drastically understaffed during the partial government shutdown. Campgrounds and some roads have been closed at the park due to safety concerns. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, CA – JANUARY 04: Volunteer Alexandra Degen cleans a restroom at Joshua Tree National Park on January 4, 2019 in Joshua Tree National Park, California. Volunteers with ‘Friends of Joshua Tree National Park’ have been cleaning bathrooms and trash at the park as the park is drastically understaffed during the partial government shutdown. Campgrounds and some roads have been closed at the park due to safety concerns. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 04: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) speaks as he joined by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (L) in the Rose Garden of the White House on January 4, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump hosted both Democratic and Republican lawmakers at the White House for the second meeting in three days as the government shutdown heads into its third week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 04: U.S. President Donald Trump is joined by Vice President Mike Pence while speaking to the media after a meeting with Congressional leaders about ending the partial government shutdown, in the Rose Garden at the White House on January 4, 2019 in Washington, DC. The U.S government is going into the 13th day of a partial shutdown with Republicans and Democrats at odds on agreeing with President Donald Trump’s demands for more money to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump addresses a press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House following a meeting with Congressional leaders on the government shutdown, January 4, 2019 in Washington, DC. – Trump said he was prepared to keep the US government closed for a year or more, as he stood firm on his contentious demand for billions of dollars to fund a border wall with Mexico. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, CA – JANUARY 04: A sign placed by staff is posted on a temporary barricade at a closed campground at Joshua Tree National Park on January 4, 2019 in Joshua Tree National Park, California. Campgrounds and some roads have been closed at the park due to safety concerns as the park is drastically understaffed during the partial government shutdown. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A crew from junk removal company 1-800-Got-Junk clears garbage which has been uncollected due to the federal government shutdown, from the Ellipse, a public area south of the White House, January 4, 2019. The shutdown is in its 14th day as newly appointed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other Congressional leaders will be meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House. (Photo by Michael Candelori/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A sign and a padlock on the door of the Ellipse VIsitor Center south of the White House explain that the facility and the National Christmas Tree site is closed due to the federal government shutdown, in its’ 14th day, January 4, 2019. (Photo by Michael Candelori/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

MAMMOTH, WY – JANUARY 3: Visitors board a snow coach for the Old Faithful Snowlodge on January 3, 2019 in Mammoth, Wyoming. Non-Emergency services in Yellowstone National Park have been suspended during the current government shutdown. Xanterra, a private concessionaire in Yellowstone, is paying for grooming of the roads to their lodge at Old Faithful. Xanterra is also helping stock and clean park restrooms during the shutdown. (Photo by William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images)

YELLOWSTONE, WY – JANUARY 3: A family visits the Terraces Mammoth Hot Springs at Yellowstone National Park on January 3, 2019 in Yellowstone, Wyoming. Non-Emergency services in Yellowstone National Park have been suspended during the current government shutdown. Visitors are still allowed access to the parks attractions but services are limited. (Photo by William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images)

YELLOWSTONE, WY – JANUARY 3: The parking lot and changing area at Boiling River is closed on January 3, 2019 in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. While visitors can still access the river, non-emergency services in Yellowstone National Park have been suspended during the current government shutdown. (Photo by William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images)

YELLOWSTONE, WY – JANUARY 3: The Visitor Center, typically crowded with guests and tourists, is closed on January 3, 2019 Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Non-Emergency services in Yellowstone National Park have been suspended during the current government shutdown. (Photo by William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images)

GARDINER, MT – JANUARY 3: A car drives through the northern entrance to Yellowstone National Park on January 3, 2019 in Gardiner, Montana. Pay stations at the park entrances is currently unstaffed, as non-emergency services in Yellowstone National Park have been suspended during the current government shutdown, and visitors can enter the park without paying fees. (Photo by William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images)

GARDINER, MT – JANUARY 3: A car drives through the northern entrance to Yellowstone National Park on January 3, 2019 in Gardiner, Montana. Pay stations at the park entrances is currently unstaffed, as non-emergency services in Yellowstone National Park have been suspended during the current government shutdown, and visitors can enter the park without paying fees. (Photo by William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images)

Signs placed by staff at a closed campground in the Joshua Tree National Park after the federal government’s partial shutdown caused park rangers to stay home and campgrounds to be shut, at the park in California on January 3, 2019. – US President Donald Trump warned the US federal government may not fully reopen any time soon, as he stood firm on his demand for billions of dollars in funding for a border wall with Mexico. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

TOPSHOT – A closed and blocked campground (L) at the Joshua Tree National Park after the federal government’s partial shutdown caused park rangers to stay home and campgrounds to be shut, at the park in California on January 3, 2019. – US President Donald Trump warned the US federal government may not fully reopen any time soon, as he stood firm on his demand for billions of dollars in funding for a border wall with Mexico. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Tourists drive past the closed entrance ticket station of the Joshua Tree National Park after the federal government’s partial shutdown caused park rangers to stay home and campgrounds to be shut, at the park in California, on January 3, 2019. – US President Donald Trump warned the US federal government may not fully reopen any time soon, as he stood firm on his demand for billions of dollars in funding for a border wall with Mexico. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Pedestrians walk beyond a sign announcing national park closure due to a government shutdown next to a ‘Road Closed’ sign at the entrance to Fort Point in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. Congressional leaders were unable to strike a deal to end a partial shutdown of the federal government at a meeting with Donald Trump on Wednesday, and the president invited them to return to the White House on Friday for further negotiations. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A cyclist takes a photograph while sitting next to a sign announcing national park closure due to a government shutdown and a ‘Road Closed’ sign at the entrance to Fort Point in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. Congressional leaders were unable to strike a deal to end a partial shutdown of the federal government at a meeting with Donald Trump on Wednesday, and the president invited them to return to the White House on Friday for further negotiations. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A man uses a smartphone to take a selfie photograph while standing next to a sign announcing national park closure due to a government shutdown and a ‘Road Closed’ sign at the entrance to Fort Point in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. Congressional leaders were unable to strike a deal to end a partial shutdown of the federal government at a meeting with Donald Trump on Wednesday, and the president invited them to return to the White House on Friday for further negotiations. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

WASHINGTON, Jan. 2, 2019 — People stand in front of the closed doors of the Smithsonian Institution Building’s visitor center in Washington D.C., the United States, on Jan. 2, 2019. The 19 Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo in Washington D.C. closed their doors on Wednesday as the partial U.S. government shutdown dragged on.?(Xinhua/Liu Jie) (Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images)

Full garbage cans sit at Golden Gate National Recreation Park in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. Congressional leaders were unable to strike a deal to end a partial shutdown of the federal government at a meeting with Donald Trump on Wednesday, and the president invited them to return to the White House on Friday for further negotiations. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Garbage sits in a parking lot at Golden Gate National Recreation Park in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. Congressional leaders were unable to strike a deal to end a partial shutdown of the federal government at a meeting with Donald Trump on Wednesday, and the president invited them to return to the White House on Friday for further negotiations. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Full garbage cans sit at Golden Gate National Recreation Park in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. Congressional leaders were unable to strike a deal to end a partial shutdown of the federal government at a meeting with Donald Trump on Wednesday, and the president invited them to return to the White House on Friday for further negotiations. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Full garbage cans sit at Golden Gate National Recreation Park in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. Congressional leaders were unable to strike a deal to end a partial shutdown of the federal government at a meeting with Donald Trump on Wednesday, and the president invited them to return to the White House on Friday for further negotiations. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Visitors walk past full garbage cans at Golden Gate National Recreation Park in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. Congressional leaders were unable to strike a deal to end a partial shutdown of the federal government at a meeting with Donald Trump on Wednesday, and the president invited them to return to the White House on Friday for further negotiations. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Full garbage cans sit at Golden Gate National Recreation Park in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. Congressional leaders were unable to strike a deal to end a partial shutdown of the federal government at a meeting with Donald Trump on Wednesday, and the president invited them to return to the White House on Friday for further negotiations. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 02: A sign informs visitors of the closing of Federal Hall as the partial government shutdown continues on January 02, 2019 in New York City. As President Donald Trump continues to insist on money to build a wall along the Southern border of the United States, the partial government shutdown and the standoff with Democrats continues. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The White House is seen in the background, as trash lays uncollected on the National Mall due to the partial shutdown of the US government on January 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. – President Donald Trump warned Wednesday the US federal government may not fully reopen any time soon, as he stood firm on his demand for billions of dollars in funding for a border wall with Mexico. Addressing a cabinet meeting on the 12th day of the partial shutdown, Trump warned it ‘could be a long time’ before the impasse is resolved. (Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

The White House is seen in the background as people bike past trash uncollected on the National Mall, due to the partial shutdown of the US government on January 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. – President Donald Trump warned Wednesday the US federal government may not fully reopen any time soon, as he stood firm on his demand for billions of dollars in funding for a border wall with Mexico. Addressing a cabinet meeting on the 12th day of the partial shutdown, Trump warned it ‘could be a long time’ before the impasse is resolved. (Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

A young girl reads a sign posted on the door of The National Museum of African American History stating that all Smithsonian Museums are closed due to the partial shutdown of the US government on January 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. – President Donald Trump warned Wednesday the US federal government may not fully reopen any time soon, as he stood firm on his demand for billions of dollars in funding for a border wall with Mexico. Addressing a cabinet meeting on the 12th day of the partial shutdown, Trump warned it ‘could be a long time’ before the impasse is resolved. (Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

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“Morale is, I believe, close to rock bottom, and I think things will start getting really bad if this isn’t fixed by this weekend,” a TSA officer who last received a paycheck on Dec. 28 told HuffPost’s Nick Robins-Early.

Congress would have to pass a law granting those workers backpay once the government reopens, as it has after previous shutdowns. Many workers received their last paycheck shortly before the new year and now may have to rely on savings, loans, credit or unemployment benefits to cover their bills.

The impasse is the result of Trump’s demand that Congress sign off on more than $5.7 billion for a wall along the southern border, a structure he originally said Mexico would pay for. He has not budged on his request, and Democratic leaders have refused to give in, describing the wall as wasteful and foolhardy. The White House is now flirting with declaring a national emergency in order to secure the funding.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said Trump was holding the federal government “hostage.”

“Over 200,000 employees at DHS ― charged with protecting our skies, waterways, and borders ― will also not be paid while still working,” Thompson said in a statement. “Because of the President’s childish behavior, families will face difficulties paying rent, keeping the lights on, and putting food on the dinner table. He should not be treating them like pawns in his pathetic pursuit to fulfill an absurd campaign promise.”

The White House has also felt the effects of the shutdown, with only 156 employees deemed essential out of 359. 

Efforts to reopen the government have largely floundered since the start of the year, and the shutdown is on track to become the longest since the 1970s if it isn’t resolved by Saturday. The president reportedly stormed out of a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) on Wednesday after being told they would not give in to his demands, slamming his hands on a table and saying, “Bye-bye.”

The Democratic leaders have criticized the president’s behavior, equating it to a temper tantrum.

“It wasn’t even a high-stakes negotiation,” Pelosi said Wednesday. “It was a petulant president of the United States.”

Trump is getting more comfortable with the prospect of securing wall funding through a national emergency declaration. Severalmedia reports noted the president has been eyeing billions of dollars in disaster recovery and military construction funding from the Defense Department to build the wall, and a source told The Washington Post that Trump would like to begin work on the wall within the next 45 days.

Title 10 of the U.S. Code allows the use of such unspent money in the case of a national emergency.

The president, in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity during a visit to the southern border on Thursday, said that if he can’t make a deal with Congress, he’ll “most likely” seek to declare a national emergency.

“The law is 100 percent on my side,” Trump said. “I mean we have the absolute right to declare a national emergency, and this is security stuff. This is a national emergency.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.