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Federal office takes serious heat for suggestions to furloughed workers who can't pay bills

The Office of Personnel Management was accused of being out of touch

Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Office of Personnel Management sent out some sample letters for federal workers to use if they found themselves unable to pay rent or other bills during the government shutdown, but some of the suggestions in the letters were heavily criticized, according to CBS News.

About 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed during the shutdown, putting some in precarious financial situations. So, the OPM offered some guidance to how they might appeal to landlords and creditors.

Two pieces of advice that were heavily criticized included "...trading my services to perform maintenance (e.g. painting, carpentry work) in exchange for partial rent payments" and "consult with your personal attorney" if you need legal advice.

Users on Twitter quickly pointed out that federal workers who were struggling to pay basic bills during the shutdown would not likely be able to afford incurring legal fees by consulting a personal attorney about their inability to to pay their bills.

Other users were appalled that federal workers are being encouraged to send apologetic letters to creditors, banks and landlords in hopes of receiving a break for not having enough money, while those responsible for the shutdown in Congress feel no financial pain from the situation.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, for example, was reportedly vacationing in Hawaii the past few days, as the shutdown continued with no sign of a potential deal. White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said he believes Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer would be open to making a deal with Trump, but Pelosi is the obstacle.

"And I think the reason [Democrats left town] is because Nancy Pelosi, in fairness, does not have the votes for the speakership yet," Mulvaney said Friday, according to the New York Post. "She cannot be seen by her party as being weak on negotiating with Donald Trump. So we fully expect that until she is elected speaker and has locked that vote up, we don't expect to hear from the Democrats again. They told us last night that they were not countering our last offer."

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