ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Tuesday marked Day 18 of the partial government shutdown and there’s still no deal in sight.
Several hundred thousand federal employees are facing a cash-flow crunch. They won’t be paid on Friday.
CBS2’s Tony Aiello spoke with two furloughed New Yorkers to see how they’re coping.
At her home in Rockland County, Catherine Ficco was furloughed from her job with the Internal Revenue Service.
“It’s extremely anxiety provoking,” Ficco said.
Uncertain when she’ll be paid again, she said she’s pinching every penny.
“We’re deferring payments where we can. We are boning everything back to the bare necessities to try and make it through,” Ficco said.
Her twins are on college break, so last week’s family night at the movies became a matinee to save $40.
“Well, I actually returned a Christmas present that I figured was a little bit frivolous,” Ficco said.
Ficco and Autherine Wilson are local officers with the National Treasury Employees Union. Wilson said she anticipated a quick resolution to the partial shutdown.
“They would agree and we would open up,” Wilson said.
That, of course, didn’t happen, so how does this now leave her feeling?
“Depressed. They’re looking at the government worker as brick and mortar and not people,” Wilson said.
As the shutdown drags on, some are getting desperate. A Central Islip woman is one of hundreds of furloughed federal workers turning to GoFundMe, pleading for help to pay the bills.
“When you say ‘Well, gee, how can you be paycheck to paycheck, you have a decent salary?’ The reality is living in the New York metro area, things are very, very expensive,” Ficco said.
“We have some … They’re saying they have family they may be able to borrow from. We have people apply for unemployment,” Wilson added.
That will help with cash flow, but if, as expected, workers are eventually paid retroactively, they have to repay any unemployment they collected.
Both women are hoping and praying the shutdown ends soon and they return to work.
The workers didn’t want to talk about who they blame. They’re just urging Democrats and Republicans to redouble efforts to resolve the shutdown.