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:

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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