Trump on federal workers not getting paid during shutdown: ‘I can relate’

President Trump has said he can “relate” to the pain of federal employees who are unable to pay their bills due to the ongoing government shutdown. 

During a press gathering outside the White House on Sunday, Trump was asked about those struggling workers, and he said: “I can relate, and I’m sure that the people that are on the receiving end will make adjustments, they always do, and they’ll make adjustments.” 

“People understand exactly what’s going on,” Trump added. “But many of those people that won’t be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100 percent with what I’m doing.” 

RELATED: 6 ways government shutdowns hurt you

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6 ways government shutdowns hurt you
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6 ways government shutdowns hurt you

What Happens During a Government Shutdown?

When a spending bill expires before Congress passes a new bill authorizing spending, the federal government shuts down most operations.

With spending stuck in limbo while all parties come to an agreement, the federal government runs out of money, forcing the closure.

During a government shutdown, essential services carry on. These include national security, law enforcement, emergency medical services, air traffic control and more.

But services considered non-essential stop, which can still affect your everyday life.

5 Things That Could be Tough During a Government Shutdown

Each government shutdown is different, but here are some things that could become more difficult or impossible if federal operations are forced to go on hold.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

1. Planning a Trip to a National Park or Monument

You can’t go to a national park or monument during a shutdown — they’ll be closed. This includes national zoos and museums, too. According to Vox, the 2013 government shutdown cost $500 million in lost tourism income due to national park closures.

(Photo: Zion National Park; Getty)

2. Getting a Passport

During the last shutdown, the State Department continued passport and visa operations because those functions are funded by fees, not government spending. 

We reached out to the National Passport Information Center back in April when the possibility of a shutdown loomed. The representative we spoke to said it’s unclear how a present-day shutdown would affect services, adding that multiple factors go into determining whether you’ll still be able to obtain a passport during a shutdown.

3. Using Free School Lunch Programs

Free school lunch programs will continue during a government shutdown — as long as it doesn’t last too long. If a shutdown goes on for an extended period, school districts might run out of funds to provide the free meals — as some districts worried would occur during the 2013 shutdown.

(Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)

4. Signing up for New Social Security Benefits

Social Security benefits will continue going out to existing enrollees, but new applications for benefits may have to wait until after the shutdown to be processed.

5. Buying a Home

If you were planning to use a federal loan, like a Federal Housing Administration-insured loan or a Veterans Affairs loan, to purchase a house, the agencies will still process it — depending on a few factors.

During the 2013 government shutdown, the FHA released an FAQ stating it would still process single-family loans, though it warned that it could take extra time because of a reduced staff. Delays could occur for other reasons, like if you need to obtain documents from the IRS.

Are you a veteran? Thankfully, it’s unlikely that a shutdown would affect your VA loans.

6. Your Tax Refund

And, perhaps, the worst of all, depending on the time of year: If you’re waiting for a tax refund from the IRS and the government shuts down, you’ll have to wait until it reopens to get your money.

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The comment echoes what he said Friday during a press briefing after a reporter asked about a safety net for federal workers who need their checks and other benefits.

“Well, the safety net is going to be having a strong border because we’re going to be safe,” Trump said. “I’m not talking about economically, but ultimately economically.  I really believe that these people — many of the people that we’re talking about, many of the people you’re discussing — I really believe that they agree with what we’re doing.”

The president has been criticized for not expressing more concern for thousands of workers affected by the shutdown. 

In fact, the New York Times pointed out that in his one previous mention of federal employees, Trump accused them of having a political bias, tweeting: “Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?” 

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