It’s day 18 of the government shutdown, and its impact is rippling across the country. In rural communities, some people trying to buy homes won't be able to without access to government-backed mortgages. Also, one federal contractor not working shares her story of having to delay vehicle and dental expenses while she and her furloughed husband miss their paychecks. Judy Woodruff has the story.
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That brings us to our nightly look at the impact of the government shutdown, now in its 18th day, and some of the ways it's directly affecting people.
One you may not know: The shutdown is stopping some folks in rural parts of the country from buying new homes and getting loans. That's because the U.S. Department of Agriculture backs some mortgages and provides favorable loan terms in rural communities and outer suburbs.
The program has backed about 100,000 mortgages a year recently. But most of the USDA's community offices are closed. And for home buyers in that program, their situation is in limbo.
We have also been listening to the voices of federal workers who aren't getting paid.
Tonight, let's meet Sara, who asked us not to use her full name because of potential repercussions. She's a contract worker for a federal agency and paid by the hour. She's not working during the shutdown, and, after the government reopens, she may not receive back pay.
Her husband is a furloughed federal employee at the same agency.
So, since my husband and I are both federal employees, and we're not working right now, we have put off dental work, we have put off car repairs for this month, because we want to make sure that what money we have stretches when there are frightening headlines like that it could go on for months or years.
That's scary stuff. But, honestly, I think the way that it really affects you the most is, it gets in your head that your job isn't important, that you're nonessential, that you only matter as a political pawn. And that doesn't feel very good.
A federal employee named Sara.
And two other updates. Last week, we told you that farmers who qualified for special aid because of the trade war with China could miss a key deadline to apply for the money. The USDA said today that it will now extend that deadline substantially to accommodate the length of the shutdown.
And, in Southern California, the troubles with trash and waste in Joshua Tree National Park have been well-documented. Today, the government announced that it will close the park on Thursday in order to deal with those problems.