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‘We Are Still on Guard': Local USCG Family Fears Second Shutdown, Economic Impact

A local U.S. Coast Guard family said the end of the government shutdown was only a moment of relief, as the fear of another shutdown looms weeks away.

Leah Simpson and her husband have two small children. Simpson works as a teacher and her husband serves in the Coast Guard.

She told NBC 7 the last government shutdown couldn’t have come at a more difficult time.

The couple “cut down our grocery bill to near zero by utilizing food pantries,” she said.

The Simpsons also just found daycare for both of their children, and they had been using their savings to pay the rent.

When the longest government shutdown in U.S. history ended a few days ago, they breathed a sigh of relief.

“We're exhausted. It has been nonstop hustling,” Simpson said.

But that relief didn’t last long.

The Simpsons are like hundreds of thousands of families across the country as their financial future hangs in the balance with the threat of another shutdown looming less than three weeks away.

“We are very nervous that this will happen again in three weeks and that we’ll be right back to it. We will be back in line at a food pantry,” Simpson told NBC 7.

She said holding federal workers’ paychecks hostage to secure the president's proposed wall makes “no sense,” especially when it comes to stopping illegal drugs

The Coast Guard stopped more than 455,000 pounds of cocaine alone in 2017, totaling more than $6 billion.

The large busts are too big for people to walk across the border with, Simpson said.

“It's frustrating because you know things aren't coming that way because no one is going to strap 100,000 pounds of raw cocaine onto their back and traverse across the desert,” she said.

Simpson said all the shutdown did was hurt hard-working American families.

“We are still on guard – we are afraid that this will happen again in three weeks,” she told NBC 7.

Now, Simpson and her husband are getting ready for the next round of pain in their pocketbook. Though, she said she is grateful for the organizations that stepped up and helped during the shutdown.

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