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CNN Politics @CNNPolitics
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Federal employees prepare for a long shutdown
For the 380,000 federal employees on furlough and the other 420,000 working without pay, this means it's time to start making plans for how to pay January bills without the promise of their next paycheck
The Office of Personnel Management tweeted sample letters for federal employees to send their creditors, mortgage companies or landlords asking for leniency because they're not getting paid during the shutdown
One federal employee in Texas planning her wedding skipped putting down deposits for her church and canceled an appointment for her dress. She worried if she made those payments and the shutdown continues, she won't be able to make rent or pay other bills
In Washington state, Jacqui Esparza's husband has been in the Coast Guard for 14 years. The Coast Guard is the only military branch that isn't paid during a shutdown; they technically are part of the Department of Homeland Security
"First thing was we can get almost all the bills paid, but what are we going to do about rent?" says Jacqui Esparza, whose husband is in the Coast Guard. "Because our rent comes from my husband's pay, which includes housing allowance."
While some federal agencies like the EPA and Smithsonian museums were able to use other funds to remain open for the first week of the shutdown, as it enters week two, those funds have dried up
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state would provide funding to keep the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island open. In Philadelphia, a local nonprofit donated money to keep Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell open for three days starting Dec. 28
At the National Zoo in Washington, all animals will continue to be fed and cared for during the shutdown, but live animal cams, including the popular Panda Cam, would no longer broadcast if the zoo is forced to close starting Jan. 2
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