Federal workers to feel shutdown pain Thursday

Sean Higgins of the Washington Examiner assesses the immediate impact for federal workers of the partial federal government shutdown.

Federal workers affected by the partial government shutdown will miss their first paycheck on Thursday of this week, the date that the funds are set to go out through direct deposit, if Congress and President Trump do not pass spending legislation before then.

Overall, an estimated $2.2 billion in pay will not be heading out into workers’ pockets due to the shutdown, according to the liberal Center for American Progress.

The bulk of the federal workforce is paid biweekly, and the next payday is Jan. 11, according to officials with federal worker unions and congressional staffers. An estimated 800,000 workers will not get paid, with 420,000 working without pay and another 380,000 staying at home. That encompass 29 federal cabinet agencies, commissions, and other entities like NASA that haven’t received funding to operate. …

… In previous shutdowns, the workers were paid what they would have gotten in a lump sum once the government re-opened. Until then, however, those workers have to make do by using savings, accruing debt, or becoming delinquent on bills. …

… The largest concentration of workers having lost pay is in California, not Washington, D.C. A total of 144,000 in the Golden State will miss their paychecks, followed by Virginia with 135,000 and Maryland with 129,000.

Economists who have studied the effects of the last major shutdown in 2013 say that federal workers can weather short-term shutdowns fairly well, but the civil servants’ situation steadily worsens as the budget impasse drags on. The current shutdown has now lasted more than two weeks.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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