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By Kailani Koenig and Ali Vitali

WOODBRIDGE, Virginia — Darryl Floyd was already feeling worried before the government shutdown started.

His wife, Cynthia, is battling cancer and her treatment was happening out of state, in Arkansas. The couple was already planning for increased costs for her medical care — including a second, temporary apartment in Little Rock while she was receiving treatment. That was before Congress and the White House brought the country into a partial government shutdown, and Darryl was furloughed.

“From the beginning of shutdown to now as far as bills now, I think about well, I’m gonna have to get a loan, consolidate bills, it just kind of changes the whole aspect of thought process,” he told NBC News Thursday night at his dining room table.

And that’s just the financial toll.

“It’s a lot of emotions,” he admitted. “It’s stressful sometimes, your blood pressure, your stress, you want the best. And then I worry about my wife, making sure she’s healthy, trying to sacrifice, so it’s just hard on me, [and] her. Ya know, we kinda worry about the bills … if she’s gonna be able to buy medicine or whatever it may be. Will we be able to eat? So, it’s kind of stressful.”

With Darryl’s federal income off the table — he works for the U.S. International Trade Commission as a human resources specialist — Cynthia, a Certified Public Accountant, has been picking up some more work herself.

The day after they talked with NBC, they began the trip to Arkansas where Cynthia will undergo a stem cell transplant. They left Virginia “just hoping that the shutdown ends,” Darryl said. But with the president warning that this could go on for months — or longer — they’re not sure what to expect.

Floyd was one of thousands of people who attended a union-organized rally in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. Even with an estimated 80 percent of the federal workforce living outside of the greater D.C. region, the shutdown has ushered in a slew of tough consequences for people across this area.

Bonnie McEwan, an employee at the SEC, told NBC on Thursday that her concerns are twofold: being able to make ends meet and the toll the shutdown is taking on the work she and her colleagues are responsible for. McEwan has still be going to work, but she hasn’t been getting paid.

“I can’t do a lot actually because nobody is there,” she said. Her bills are piling up and her concerns are starting to keep her up at night.

“I will be able to work it out this time but I don’t know how long I can go on like this,” she added. “Eventually I will have to take money out of my 401K apparently to make mortgage payments. You know, my normal monthly payments if it goes on, which if you listen to the news, it sounds like there’s no end in sight. It’s really scary. It’s stressful. It’s causing me a lot of stress. I have a hard time even sleeping thinking about it. I’m dreaming about it now, going into the office and being told, ‘We don’t need you. Go home.’”

Denise Price, a furloughed worker at the Department of the Treasury who also attended the Thursday rally, says she’s trying to watch her spending as close as she can and prioritize where her money goes.

“I’m trying to bleed out whatever little bit of funds that I have,” she said. “It’s very tough. It really is. I have to pick between what bills I can pay and what bills I have to put aside and try to figure out how to pay.”

She says the situation has been tough on her family, and while her daughter has offered to contribute part of her paycheck, Price would like to avoid that. “I want to be able to support my family the way I’m supposed to support them,” she said.

“I want to go back to work,” she continued. “I want the powers that be to come together, make a decision. Please open the government so that we can get back to work. We need to provide services to the American people. I enjoy my work, my other co-workers enjoy their work. Please, get it together, put all those judgements aside, and come together. Come to an agreement and open the government.”

About 900 miles south of the nation’s capital at the Kennedy Space Center, workers across the area have been told not to report in to their jobs.

Steve Ching, a contractor with NASA who works as an industrial technician, says the shutdown “also affects scientists, engineers, all the different support staff down at the Kennedy Space Center. They have literally closed the gates and no one is working.”

While the financial impact on some of the people there has been profound, he said the shutdown is grinding down the operations his team is responsible for every day.

“Of our crew of ten on the high voltage, we only have two that are currently there sporadically for what they refer to as ‘necessity work,’ but other than that everybody is home without a paycheck,” he said.

“It not only affects me but also all the other workers down there,” he added. “I mean, our mortgages and rent, our utilities, our car payments, everything that we have for necessities in life continue on and we don’t have any income.”



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Brexit news: Will Queen be forced to SUSPEND Parliament?

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HARD Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has suggested Theresa May could prevent an extension to Article 50 and a delay to Brexit by shutting down Parliament early.

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Hakeem Jeffries defends calling Trump ‘Grand Wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue’

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Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

By Allan Smith

New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is standing by remarks he made Monday in which he called President Donald Trump “the Grand Wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”

In an interview Wednesday on CNN’s “New Day,” the House Democratic Caucus chairman said he had no regrets about the comment, which he made at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in New York City.

“We’ve got to have an opportunity for at least one day a year to have a candid if sometimes uncomfortable conversation about race,” Jeffries told CNN. “It seems to me that we can’t have that conversation on Valentine’s Day, we can’t have that conversation on Saint Patrick’s Day. It’s perhaps appropriate for us to be able to have that difficult discussion on MLK Day, when we’re celebrating the life and legacy of a champion for racial and social justice.”

Monday was not the first time Jeffries labeled Trump as such. But he told CNN that he “absolutely” does not think Trump is a Ku Klux Klan member. “Grand Wizard” is the title that was given to leaders of the white supremacist group.

“I did not use the words racist in any of my comments,” Jeffries said. “In fact, Wolf Blitzer in the past has asked me whether I believe the president is a racist, and I’ve consistently said no. I did use a colorful phrase, but of course I don’t believe that the president is a card-carrying member of the KKK. But it did capture a troubling pattern of racially insensitive and outrageous, at times, behavior that spans not months, not years, but decades.”

As examples, Jeffries cited a Justice Department lawsuit against the Trumps in the 1970s for alleged housing discrimination, the president’s remarks about the so-called Central Park Five, Trump’s promotion of the false conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama was not born in the United States, and the president’s handling of the fatal violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year.

Jeffries wasn’t the only Democratic leader to attack Trump’s racial record over the Monday holiday.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent and potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in South Carolina: “It gives me no pleasure to tell you that we now have a president of the United States who is a racist.”

In response, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel tweeted that Sanders’ remark was “disgusting and wrong.”

@realDonaldTrump has brought African American and Hispanic unemployment to record lows, passed historic criminal justice reform. Even worse that Bernie is using MLK Day to make an incendiary comment like that,” McDaniel wrote.



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Brexit latest: 'Mayhem' as Remainer MPs plot to halt UK leaving the EU

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BREXITEERS warned of “mayhem” yesterday as plotting Remainers unleashed plans to sabotage Brexit by seizing power from the Government.

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