US government shutdown hits 800,000 federal workers as they miss first payday of the year

 
Michael Searles
Partial Government Shutdown Continues As Congress And President  Fail To Reach Deal
US shutdown continued for its third straight week as hundreds of thousands go without pay (Source: Getty)

As many as 800,000 public sector workers missed their first payday of the year on Friday as the US government’s partial shutdown continued for a third week.


Many workers have been working without the guarantee of pay since the shutdown began on December 22, including airport staff, prison guards and other vital public service personnel.

The shutdown is set to become the longest in US history as president Donald Trump refuses to accept the current federal budget because it does not accommodate the $5.7bn he requires to build a border wall.

The wall was a key promise of his 2016 election campaign that saw him voted in as president.

Democrats, who now run the Senate, have refused to give in to Trump’s demand, claiming it would be a waste of money.


So far talks have yet to provide any kind of resolution and Trump has threatened he could use his emergency powers to force the issue through.

It has left around a quarter of the federal government without pay this month, which accounts for around 800,000 people, leaving some of them in precarious financial positions.

Around 350,000 people have been temporarily laid off, while the rest continue to work unpaid, although a number are reported to have called in sick.

Miami international airport said it may have to close a whole terminal this weekend due to the number of security staff absent.

However, Mike Pence did announce on Friday that all of those affected would receive full back pay.

"I'm pleased to report to you that with the full support of the president of the United States, just moments ago the House of Representatives passed legislation that will ensure that all the dedicated professionals at Custom and Border Protection and all of the agencies affected by this shutdown will be paid in full," Pence said. "Your families will get your paychecks."

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