Rep. Jennifer Wexton of Virginia showed what a no-pay Friday looked like Friday, by blowing up a copy of a paycheck with a zero-dollar balance on the House floor.
“You can’t pay your mortgage with zero dollars. You can’t buy groceries with zero dollars,” Rep. Wexton said.
As the government shutdown enters its 21st day Tony Prusak, a frequent flier at Cleveland Hopkins, is concerned.
He launched a “Go Fund Me” for the TSA, along with his friend, Kevin O’Donnell, owner of Victory Alley in downtown Cleveland.
The money they raise will provide free meals for 80 agents next Friday.
“I travel over 60,000 miles a year. I think the TSA in Cleveland are first class, class act people,” Prusak said. “I see them all the time, and what a better way to impact their lives than through food?”
“When he told me about this cause, I’m like ‘I have a full kitchen, it just makes sense for me to help other people,’” O’Donnell said.
Wireless carriers are helping too.
AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon are offering deferred payment options.
At the same time, Republican lawmakers, including Ohio’s Senator Rob Portman, plan to introduce an act that would one day prohibit future shutdowns.
“We always end up paying more at the end of a shutdown because people get paid back for the time off,” Sen. Portman said, “And yet government services aren’t there and it’s a hardship for people.”
Friday was not payday for everyone.
The U.S. Coast Guard, which is historically exempt during shutdowns, is supposed to be paid Tuesday.
A retired admiral suggested landlords think twice reporting them to creditors, adding that a pizza or a grocery store gift card could serve as a kind gesture to anyone who has been furloughed.