Shutdown Recap: Roughly 150,000 veterans received $0 paychecks today

Elizabeth Howe
January 11, 2019 - 1:36 pm

Photo courtesy of USA Today Images

Today, 800,000 federal employees received pay stubs for $0.00 — and there's no telling when they'll see their next cent.

Of these 800,000 employees, 14 percent make less than $50,000 per year. Depending on the situation, that's not a lot to stretch when the paychecks stop coming. Roughly one-third (31.1 percent) of all federal employees are veterans, meaning that the veteran population is being disproportionately affected the longer the shutdown wears on. 

RELATED: 'They have to remember — these are American families'

Not all government agencies have shut down as a result of the political stalemate ongoing in D.C. — and, luckily, some of those agencies that remain operational have the highest percentage of veteran federal employees. The Department of Defense's workforce is 47.5 percent veteran. The Department of Veterans Affairs is 32.8 percent veteran.

However, the Department of Transportation (36.7 percent veteran) has been shut down for 20 days and counting. The same goes for the Department of Homeland Security — the department that houses the US Coast Guard. Coast Guard personnel, their families, and civilian employees don't fall under the same umbrella as the other branches of the military which are fully operational — and paid. As a result, Coasties are seeking loans and other resources.

RELATED: For Coast Guard family stationed overseas, shutdown is doubly stressful
RELATED: USAA denying loans and charging interest to Coast Guard families

The same service men and women who have provided emergency relief to Americans for centuries need support. CG SUPRT briefly put out a tip sheet suggesting Coast Guard personnel hold garage sales or babysit. We had a few other ideas — and so did several other organizations.   

RELATED: How to help Coast Guard families during government shutdown
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RELATED: Financial assistance programs rolled out for the duration of the government shutdown

Certain congressional members have also made an effort to assist or — at the very least — stand in solidarity with federal employees by rejecting their paychecks or donating their salaries to a charitable organization until the shutdown is lifted.

RELATED: Senator files legislation to fund Coast Guard during shutdown
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RELATED: Veterans in Congress give up pay while government shutdown continues

Of course, the reaches of the shutdown go far beyond veterans or even federal employees. Several of the shutdown agencies perform tasks that affect Americans everywhere. While the Department of Food and Drug Administration is closed, the 75 percent of the nation's food supply that they inspect will go uninspected. Miami International Airport closed one of its terminals this weekend after 51,000 total TSA officers were absent from work. Joshua Tree National Park was one of the first to close after sustaining damages while the park remained unguarded.

And, as the shutdown continues, we can only expect the effects of the government closures to be felt more and more severely.

Podcast: Hear from vets missing paychecks


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