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Federal employees in EP set to miss first Friday paycheck during government shutdown

As the partial government shutdown continues, it seems federal employees affected will not be paid Friday.

Hundreds of those workers are here in El Paso, including those working for Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. They won’t be paid until the stalemate ends and Congress approves a new budget that will be signed into law by the president.

ABC-7 spoke with two Justice Department employees, correction officers at the La Tuna prison, who said people are calling in to work because they can’t afford to work without pay.

The La Tuna federal prison in Anthony, Texas relies on around 300 correctional officers. They’re essential employees, meaning they still need to come to work even if pay isn’t guaranteed.

With no paychecks in the pipeline, some employees are cutting back costs, like staying home to care for their children instead of sending them to daycare. ABC-7 spoke to the prison’s union president, Isaac Ortiz, who said the union reached out to both representatives and the senators from Texas and New Mexico to push forward funding and end the shutdown.

“Their concern was the same thing, that there should be no reason why government employees should be in the middle, there should be no reason why we shouldn’t be paid, that the border security should be addressed as agreed, and that the prior continuing resolution proposal had that up to February, and that the initial proposal was approved by the House and the Senate,” Ortiz said.

Trump vetoed that bill, citing his request for border wall funding.

The shutdown will continue until funding is resolved.

El Paso Electric has said it will work with affected employees to find individual solutions. Customers can contact EPE’s Customer Care at 915-543-5970 (Texas) or 575-526-5555 (New Mexico).

Texas Gas also offers payment options to all of its customers, you can call them at 800-700-2443 and is available from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm Mountain Time.

El Paso Water has said they will not be providing extra assistance for federal workers at this time.

GECU is offering different options for furloughed employees or workers without pay. The credit union can be contacted at (915) 778-9221 or customers can visit any branch for assistance

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