Government shutdown in third week, thousands face missed paychecks Friday

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If the partial shutdown of the federal government continues through Saturday — marking a full three weeks — it will become the longest shutdown on record. Around 800,000 government workers are not being paid.

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The shutdown is affecting federal agencies including the IRS, TSA, FBI, National Park Service and others.

With no breakthrough in sight, President Donald Trump is set to argue in a prime-time address that a “crisis” at the U.S.-Mexico border requires the wall he’s demanding before ending the partial government shutdown.

Trump’s speech on Tuesday night will be followed by his visit Thursday to the southern border. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that he will use the visit to “meet with those on the front lines of the national security and humanitarian crisis.”

The administration is also at least talking about declaring a national emergency to allow Trump to move forward on the wall without Congress approving the $5.6 billion he wants.

In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of federal workers face missed paychecks Friday as the shutdown drags through a third week.

In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of federal workers face missed paychecks Friday as the shutdown drags through the third week.  There’s a lot of concern also over whether or not the workers will receive back pay.

“I think it’s an important position to have,” said Vanessa Pearson, American Federation of Government Employees Local 1240.

Pearson has been a TSA officer for almost 13 years, six of them at McCarran International Airport, and she loves her job.

Pearson is also the secretary for Local 1240 of the American Federation of Government Employees.

“When you care about people, you want to make sure that they’re not harmed so I feel like our job is very, very important,” Pearson said. 

The TSA employee’s job is so important, TSA officers are among the federal employees in Nevada who have to show up to work during the partial government shutdown, and a paycheck is not guaranteed.

“For me, I know that it’s important to be there and I’m alright with it, but we may have a few people that, you know, might be struggling a little,” Pearson said. 

According to the Center for American Progress, more than 3,400 federal employees in Nevada could go without paychecks.

“Wait and see how this one works out,” said Juan Casarez, the president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1250.

Casarez has worked through at least a couple of government shutdowns.  His role this time around is to provide guidance and resources to union members.

“They are very professional. I can tell you that. Very professional, efficient,” Casarez said.  “So I’m pretty sure they understand what’s going on and; they feel that they will get paid.”

The question now is, when?

“We have to be there regardless of whether we get paid or not so God willing, this shutdown is gonna be over soon,” Pearson said.

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