Photo gallery by Reuters
Even as he announced an end to the longest government shutdown in US history, Donald Trump warned that a new shutdown could begin in just three weeks “if we don’t get a fair deal from Congress”.
That threat meant that clouds of uncertainty still remain in place for hundreds of thousands of government workers and unknown others whose lives were interrupted or derailed by a shutdown precipitated and prolonged by the president’s demand for a border wall, which he redoubled on Friday.
From the National Park Service to Nasa, the Coast Guard to border patrol, the Internal Revenue Service to the Transportation Security Administration – federal agencies are now filled with workers with damaged credit ratings, missed mortgage payments, new debts and, especially, new doubts about their basic job security and the future.
“I have the luxury that friends have loaned me one paycheck,” said Leisyka Parrott, 47, a furloughed employee with the Bureau of Land Management who is paying off a car loan. “The thing is when you get back pay, all the fees that you incur by missing payments – you don’t get paid back for those. If you are late for a payment and have a $25 fee, the government doesn’t pay for that.”
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