Federal workers will get holiday paychecks even if government shuts down

dcnf-2-1Evie Fordham, DCNF

Federal workers will not lose their holiday paychecks even if Congress remains in gridlock over a budget deal and triggers a partial government shutdown, according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Federal employees will receive checks for the Dec. 9 to 22 biweekly pay period on time, no matter what happens in Congress, reported The Hill. The checks will likely be issued between Dec. 28 and Jan. 3.

But pay for the last day of the period, Dec. 22, may not be included in the paycheck since it could be the first day of a partial government shutdown, according to an OMB blog post Friday.

“Excepted” employees perform essential duties and will be expected to work even if a shutdown occurs and will be paid after a shutdown is over. Non-essential employees face furlough, or unpaid time off, but have received pay anyway after shutdowns in recent years, according to the OMB blog post.

The federal government employs more than 2 million people full-time excluding U.S. Postal Service employees, according to Governing.com. Roughly 80 percent of them work outside the Washington, D.C., region. More than 420,000 essential federal employees would be expected to work without pay, according to a press release from Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy’s Senate Appropriations Committee staff.

Congress has hours to avoid a partial government shutdown after a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government expires Friday. At the center of the funding battle is the border wall President Donald Trump wants to build.

“I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck,” Trump said on Dec. 11 during a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

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