Mid-South federal employees still feeling effects of government shutdown

(WMC Action News 5)
Updated: Jan. 28, 2019 at 6:10 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The government’s 35-day partial shutdown may be over, but the pain continues for some Mid-South federal workers who are still waiting to get paid.

“They haven't even been able to put milk on the table,” said Bryan Hoffman.

Hoffman is with the River City Blues Chief Petty Officer Association, a group of Coast Guard members and employees.

The roughly 300 have either been working without pay or on furlough during the shutdown.

Monday, the group held a donation drive in Collierville to help fill in the gap as paychecks start to be processed.

“It’s tough not having money in your bank account to go out and buy the essentials,” Hoffman said.

At Memphis International, TSA workers were provided lunch for free on Monday

“We wanted to let them know that we thank them for what they're doing,” said Mickie Rooker with Travel Leaders.

Officials say the agents have gotten donated meals, breakfast and lunch, nearly every day for the past week.

“We really appreciate all of their sacrifices not only for them to keep working without pay but for their families,” Rooker said.

The shutdown’s impact is still being felt on the housing market.

Lenders devised work arounds for FHA and VA mortgages.

But USDA home loans in more rural counties outside of Shelby were stopped totally and are now backlogged.

“It would be frustrating if you were a buyer or seller and were waiting on those to be processed,” said Keith Gilliam with Memphis Area Association of Realtors.

Back in Collierville, Hoffman says he and others are concerned the February 15 deadline could just give way to another shutdown.

“Yes there’s fear and that’s why we are here today,” Hoffman said. “Hopefully we don’t have to use it and then we can go search for other organizations to donate this stuff to.”

President Donald Trump and members of his administration have said he is willing to shut down the government again it he does not get his $5.7 billion for a border wall.

Friday’s deal did not include money for a wall.

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