Retiring GOP lawmaker: Trump won't get $5B

Retiring Rep. Ryan Costello criticized President Donald Trump's handling of the shutdown, saying that the President is not going to get the $5 billion he is asking for the border wall.

Posted: Jan 2, 2019 12:42 PM
Updated: Jan 2, 2019 1:05 PM

Banks and credit unions that cater to federal workers are readying financial help for their customers as the government shutdown drags on.

The assistance includes low- or no-interest payroll advances and loans for workers facing dwindling cash reserves.

A total of 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed or working without pay since December 21, and won't receive their next paychecks until the government reopens.

"Our observation is that the folks that we serve are not wealthy people," said Scott Spiker, the chairman and CEO of First Command Financial Services, whose customers include members of the Coast Guard.

While the Department of Homeland Security found money to pay Coast Guard payroll at the end of December, future paychecks are uncertain if Congress and President Donald Trump can't strike a deal on border wall funding.

On Monday, a union representing federal workers sued the government for requiring some employees deemed "essential" to work without pay.

Assistance for federal employees

Spiker told CNN that First Command is offering its members who are federal employees interest-free payroll advances, as well as other assistance.

Democracy Federal Credit Union is offering a short-term emergency loan with 0% interest, lending director Antoine McStay said. Bankers are also referring customers with specific concerns to their in-house financial counseling services, he said.

Other institutions, like USAA Bank and Transportation Federal Credit Union, have said they'll provide low-interest loans to their customers.

USAA spokeswoman Laura Propp told CNN that "thousands" have reached out to the bank for help or advice.

Many workers may be starting to feel the pinch only now that the shutdown is stretching into a new pay period.

Spiker added that for many of his bank's clients, "their big payments coincide with their checks" at the beginning and middle of the month -- including mortgage payments, car loans and utility bills.

"Many people have payments that they try to have land on the 1st," he said.

Gloria Bowden, executive vice president at Democracy Federal Credit Union, said missing paychecks produces a "domino effect."

"If they don't get paid, then their loan does not get paid, which puts them in a past-due or delinquent status," she said, which can damage credit or lead to costly fees.

Contractors may not be eligible for help

While federal employees typically receive back pay after the government reopens, federal contractors often do not.

That means lenders can't necessarily count on contractors being able to quickly repay the loans or advances, and offers for federal employees like the emergency loan from Democracy Federal Credit Union aren't available to them.

Assistance for contractors is a "traditional banking equation," Spiker of First Command explained. Contractors will require more scrutiny than federal employees "to understand their future ability to pay."

McStay said Democracy Federal Credit Union is offering contractors other options, such as delaying their payments on existing loans.

The Office of Personnel Management was widely criticized after it posted sample letters that federal workers could send to creditors asking for forgiveness or flexibility. Suggestions included offering manual labor in lieu of payment.

While reaching out to creditors makes sense, Spiker said the OPM recommendation that government employees offer to barter services such as painting "in exchange for partial rent payments" rings hollow.

"That is a very hard position to put people in," Spiker told CNN. "In many cases for these folks, they're not trained to be negotiators, and there's not a widespread marketplace that says, 'Gee, landlords, be good citizens and everybody chip in.' "

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 248189

Reported Deaths: 5411
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16841171
Hinds15890312
Harrison13037191
Rankin10439205
Jackson10128177
Lee8721135
Madison8071160
Jones6166108
Forrest5870117
Lauderdale5724177
Lowndes5238109
Lafayette486192
Lamar475363
Washington4734122
Bolivar3941106
Oktibbeha388179
Panola360475
Pontotoc358752
Monroe3487103
Warren337895
Union337457
Marshall336065
Neshoba3325150
Pearl River319492
Leflore2980104
Lincoln293385
Sunflower277569
Tate266659
Alcorn260651
Itawamba258858
Pike258176
Hancock253557
Prentiss242450
Scott241043
Yazoo237754
Copiah237449
Tippah236246
Simpson232367
Leake227864
Coahoma223154
Grenada215770
Covington208871
Marion206171
Adams201666
Winston198061
George197438
Wayne196130
Attala191658
Newton186542
Chickasaw181243
Tishomingo179659
Holmes167867
Jasper165134
Clay156732
Stone140218
Tallahatchie138234
Clarke136460
Calhoun133321
Smith118823
Yalobusha113834
Walthall111136
Noxubee109622
Greene108929
Montgomery108134
Carroll103721
Lawrence101217
Perry99131
Amite96425
Webster90624
Claiborne85125
Tunica84521
Jefferson Davis83825
Humphreys81524
Benton80323
Kemper75720
Quitman6758
Franklin65315
Choctaw59613
Wilkinson58125
Jefferson53019
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1586
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 417528

Reported Deaths: 6030
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61313888
Mobile29768542
Madison26637185
Tuscaloosa20580268
Montgomery18696304
Shelby18310113
Baldwin16002179
Lee12261101
Morgan12093112
Etowah11604157
Calhoun10982200
Marshall10108107
Houston8474129
Cullman7960104
Limestone790174
Elmore7723101
DeKalb764697
St. Clair7460120
Lauderdale745183
Talladega6102108
Walker5852174
Jackson574441
Blount526483
Colbert525670
Autauga510355
Coffee434256
Dale391081
Franklin363445
Chilton333565
Covington326167
Russell323810
Escambia312442
Dallas300296
Clarke278233
Chambers277869
Tallapoosa2599107
Pike245829
Marion240549
Lawrence240447
Winston223835
Bibb213047
Geneva197431
Marengo197329
Pickens195231
Hale173742
Barbour171236
Butler167958
Fayette166026
Cherokee159630
Henry151119
Monroe144417
Randolph138535
Washington136526
Clay125246
Crenshaw118044
Lamar116619
Cleburne116023
Macon113335
Lowndes108735
Wilcox101221
Bullock98128
Perry95419
Conecuh92920
Sumter88726
Greene75323
Coosa60414
Choctaw51224
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