Cash-strapped cities around the nation are increasingly using heavy fines to fund basic services — in turn, sending residents into debt and bankruptcy.
We’re more than 10 days into the partial government shutdown. Some offices — the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, among others — remain fully funded, but many government employees, and many Americans who don’t work for the government, are starting to feel the effects.
CNN reports that “800,000 federal employees have been furloughed or working without pay since December 21, and won’t receive their next paychecks until the government reopens.”
The New York Times reports that a tribe of Chippewa Indians is picking up a tab of around $100,000 a day as a result of the shutdown. That federal money usually funds health clinics, employees and food pantries.
They’re not the only tribe that’s affected.
On the Bois Forte Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota, tribal officials have instituted a hiring freeze and are planning to meet later this week to discuss budget cuts. Cathy Chavers, the tribe’s chairwoman, said tribal functions were continuing for now, but “it will probably come down to minimal, minimal basic services” if the shutdown lasts another month.
Already, police officers on her reservation, who are employees of the federal government and not the tribe, were being forced to work without pay.
“These officers are putting their lives on the line,” Ms. Chavers said, “and they don’t know if they’re going to get a paycheck or not.”
Meanwhile, Republican Congressman Scott Perry of Pennslyvania has posed the question“Who’s living that they’re not going to make it to the next paycheck?”
We’ll hear from those who have been affected by the shutdown.
Produced by Morgan Givens. Text by Gabrielle Healy.
- Tony Reardon National president, National Treasury Employees Union
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