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Utah’s Federal Workers Feel Financial Crunch As Payday Passes With No Check

OGDEN, Utah – On what was meant to be their payday, furloughed Internal Revenue Service workers were instead trying to figure how to stretch their bank accounts.

Although the government shutdown has moved into the third week, Friday’s payday was the first where federal employees got a pay stub with $0 listed in the amount paid.

For workers – many who may be living paycheck to paycheck – bank accounts have dwindled, forcing employees to decide which expenses get paid, and which bill do not.

“It’s scary because you don’t know what’s going on,” said IRS clerk Shellee Gamble.

Gamble’s daughter, Kristal Miller, also works at the Ogden IRS office. Miller said she was thankful that they still have her husband’s income.

“We tried to pay half of our rent now and half with his next check, because if we’d paid the whole rent for the month of January, it would be his whole paycheck. We wouldn’t have any money for food,” Miller said. “We wouldn’t have any money for anything. (The bank) said, ‘Well, I feel where you’re at, but if it’s not paid by the 15th, we’re going to have to evict you.’”

Miller said a lot of families work at the office and when something like this happens, they are hit especially hard.

“The people that you would normally turn to for help are in the same boat you are,” she said.

Miller said they were getting help from their church. During their time off, they are spending time together. As the government shutdown approaches a record length, they just wanted to get back to work.

“I don’t even care what they pass. I have my opinions, but they’re my opinions. I don’t care. I just want the government open. I want us running again, for the sake of me, for the sake of everybody else, and for the sake of everybody that’s not a government worker,” Miller said.

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