'We may lose our home': Federal employees tell of misery as government shutdown rolls into day 21

  • Video report by ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore

The partial US government shutdown dragged into a record-tying 21 days on Friday on what should be pay day for hundreds of thousands of federal workers.

With no end in sight for the partial shutdown - which will be the longest in history at midnight tonight - many of the roughly 800,000 affected federal workers will not receive their paychecks this weekend, with some being forced to take out loans and apply for benefits to tie themselves over.

Many took to Twitter to share their #shutdownstories with some saying they risk losing their homes or being unable to afford vital medicine for their children.

Terry Owens wrote: "I want to go back to work. I DON'T WANT A WALL!!! I'm the sole income supporter for my family. Mortgage Co. won't work with me. May lose my home and the thought of having to stand in line for food is a embarrassing."

Kati Wells said "Christmas had been cancelled" in her house as her federal agent husband continues to work for no pay.

Ellen Stringer wrote: "My husband is a 26+ year Federal employee. We rely solely on his income and benefits, as I am caregiver to our disabled son. We just found out his $1000 travel credit card balance is unpaid. The shutdown is personally threatening our security."

Around 420,000 federal employees who are deemed essential are working for no pay, while an additional 380,000 are staying home without pay.

The House voted on Friday to back pay to federal employees after shutdown ends. The bill will now go to Donald Trump for his signature.

Federal workers also took their frustrations to the streets as protests look place across the country.

Among them were Internal Revenue Service employees in Odgen, Utah.

One furloughed IRS employee, Tiauna Guerra, said: "It is actually impacting us really hard.

"We are not able to play a lot of our bills. We're having a hard time trying to buy gas, food.

"We're having to ask for help from family members who obviously aren't asking working for the government. It's been hard."

Another IRS employee Kandice Johns who is also on furlough, said: "We're not just workers for the government, we're human beings and we deserve respect. I want to work for the public, I enjoy working, being a public servant."

Donald Trump visited the southern border on Thursday. Credit: AP

Donald Trump spent most of Thursday in Texas near the US-Mexico border in a bid to draw further attention to his wall after negotiations with politicians stalled repeating his threat to declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress if he cannot reach a deal with Democrats to fund his promised border wall.

Asked about the plight of those going without pay, the presdient shifted the focus, saying he felt bad "for people that have family members that have been killed" by criminals who came over the border.

Democrats have vowed to block funding for a 5.7 billion US dollar (£4.5 billion) wall, one of Mr Trump's key campaign pledges, which they say would be immoral and ineffective.