Screwed by the Shutdown? Trump Admin Tells Furloughed Workers To Barter with Landlords

The Office of Personnel Management advises employees receiving no pay to hire a personal attorney.

Niall Carson/ZUMA

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While President Donald Trump continues to hurl insults at Democrats and rage-tweet his way through the partial government shutdown, the US Office of Personnel Management has provided furloughed workers with sample letters they can send to creditors, landlords, and mortgage companies outlining why they might not be able to cover payments they owe because of the shutdown.

The letters, intended to assist the estimated 800,000 federal workers who have been sent home or who are now working without pay, were swiftly mocked on social media for including several eyebrow-raising recommendations, such as the suggestion that furloughed workers volunteer to perform maintenance duties in exchange for reduced rent payments. Painting and carpentry were listed as tasks hard-pressed federal employees could offer to take on, as Trump continues to threaten Democrats and Central American countries from the Oval Office.

The US Office of Personnel Management even offered this outrageous piece of advice: US government workers who have stopped receiving their paycheck and who need additional guidance ought to retain a personal attorney—an expensive and undoubtedly unrealistic option for many. 

Just before the shutdown, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) expressed skepticism at the idea that some federal workers lived paycheck to paycheck.

https://twitter.com/waltshaub/status/1078532648237232128

You can read the official sample letters below:

Thank you!

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The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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