Not only are officers like McQueary – a 25-year veteran of law enforcement – not getting paychecks during the shutdown, they also won’t be reimbursed for sick time or annual leave and probably won’t be properly compensated for extra time, such as night shifts. Regardless of whether or not the federal government follows through with promised reimbursements, the lack of pay has put people like McQueary in a bind, at least temporarily.
“I’ve got all my bills paid and am good to go right now, but if this continues till the 17th or beyond and I miss a whole pay-period, I’m going to have to call people and say ‘There’s a possibility I won’t be able to make a car payment, you’ll have to work with me,’” she said. “It’s affected me on how I’m going to pay my bills and it’s a little stressful. There’s a lot of people like me that take care of family members and they depend on you. When something like this happens, it’s a burden.”
McQueary is also stuck having to foot an expensive gas bill from her daily commute from Strawn to Fort Worth with no inflow of money in sight. She said she understands living so far away is a personal choice, but she wants to be near to her family members whom she takes care of.
The consensus seems to be the longer the shutdown lasts, the worse things will potentially get.
Citizens can only hope, for the sake of those like McQueary and the sake of our nation’s future, that this impasse does not last long.