SHUTDOWN DAY 28: Secret Service agents struggle with no pay; White House thinks next week could eat another 0.13 points of GDP growth

A Secret Service agent at the White House in October 2016. CNN on Thursday detailed problems facing agents during the government shutdown. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • US Secret Service agents told CNN they were struggling without their paychecks amid the partial federal government shutdown.
  • One suggested that worrying about finances could jeopardize agents’ performance on the job.
  • The partial shutdown entered its 28th day on Friday.
  • A White House official told INSIDER that officials expected the shutdown to deduct 0.13 percentage points from quarterly economic growth for every week the government remained closed.

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

Numerous agents anonymously told the network they were “having financial hardships” and struggling to make ends meet for their families.

“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, then financially I can’t do that to my family,” one said. “I will have to go somewhere else.”

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,” the person 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 are almost sure to receive back pay when the government reopens.

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

Trump Pelosi Schumer
Trump with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Mike Pence, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer at the Oval Office this week. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A White House official told INSIDER’s Bob Bryan this week that the administration expected the shutdown to deduct 0.13 percentage points from quarterly economic growth for every week the government was closed.

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

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

The first estimate – about 0.05 percentage points a week from quarterly GDP growth – accounted only 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.

No trips, legal loopholes, and a risk of cyberattacks: Other effects of the shutdown

  • Trump’s fight with congressional Democrats continued this week as the president prevented House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from travelling to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan aboard a military plane “in light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay.”
  • In a letter, Trump suggested that Pelosi stay in Washington to negotiate an end to the shutdown or fly commercial instead.
  • The White House also canceled the US delegation’s annual trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, “out of consideration” for the furloughed federal employees.
  • Some government agencies are using legal loopholes to recall furloughed employees to work, in an attempt to restart operations and blunt the blow of the shutdown.
  • A federal judge in Washington, DC, this week refused to force the government to pay employees who working without pay during the shutdown.
  • Cybersecurity experts also say the US is at greater risk of attack during the shutdown.

Read more:
Trump sends Capitol Hill into chaos after cancelling congressional trip to Afghanistan