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Government shutdown news: Secret Service struggles, GDP could slip



US Secret Service agents are struggling without paychecks, CNN reported, as the government shutdown enters a record 28th day and continues to eat away at the country’s economy.

A lot of agents anonymously told the network they “are having financial hardships” and struggling to make ends meet for their families.

One said: “There are people that are saying I like this job and I’ll put up with it for as long as I can, but I know if this government shutdown continues than financially I can’t do that to my family. I will have to go somewhere else.”

A Secret Service agent watches the Marine One helicopter traveling to New Jersey pick up Donald Trump in June 2017.
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The lack of funding could jeopardize Secret Service agents’ performance on the job, another said.

“If you’ve got guys thinking about how they’re going to make their house payment, I can just tell you, you’re not doing your job right,” they told CNN. “Your head is not in the right place — this is affecting people.”

Nearly 6,000 out of the 7,222 people working for the Secret Service are working without pay, CNN reported. Federal employees deemed “essential” to the government’s functioning are still required to work through the shutdown, and will likely receive backpay when the government reopens.

The partial shutdown doesn’t appear close to ending as President Donald Trump and Congressional Democrats continue to spar over funding for Trump’s desired wall along the US-Mexico border.

A White House official told INSIDER’s Bob Bryan this week that the administration expects the shutdown to deduct 0.13 percentage points from quarterly GDP for every week the closure continues.

Read more: The White House now thinks the shutdown will be twice as bad for the economy than they originally thought

Trump and Democratic leaders have yet to agree on a solution to end the government shutdown. This photo shows House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Mike Pence, Trump, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer at the Oval Office this week.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The estimate for the total damage was more than doubled after economists changed their methodology.

The first estimate — around 0.05 percentage points a week — only accounted for lost productivity from workers directly employed by the federal government.

When that model was adjusted to include the knock-on effects of contractors not being paid, the economic damage more than doubled.

US federal government employees and contract workers have been calling for their jobs back. Here, a protest against the shutdown in Washington, DC, on January 10, 2019.
Carlos Barria/Reuters

A federal judge in Washington, DC, this week refused to force the government to pay employees that were working without pay during the shutdown.

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