by Daveda Gruber:
Waking up this morning brought me to look and see if the government was still shutdown. Monday is the start of another workweek for many Americans. Hundreds of thousands of government employees are not working as the shutdown enters its third day.
The federal government ran out of funding Friday night at 11:59 p.m. ET.
Republicans and Democrats failed to reach a short-term deal to fund the government another 30 days. This would give more time for negotiations on a larger, long-term solution.
The Senate looked as if they were getting closer over the weekend to an agreement to reopen federal agencies. The votes were not there. Federal workers were among the first to feel the hit.
During a shutdown, federal employees generally fall into one of three categories: furloughed, excepted or exempted.
President Trump is an exempted federal employee, as Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution forbids the president’s salary to be reduced while in office. Ironically, President Trump gives his salary to charity.
Only 21 of 96 members of the White House residential staff would report to the grounds during a shutdown.
Stephanie Grisham, spokeswoman for first lady Melania Trump said, “Essentially, our core group of residence staff would still report to work to ensure that basic services are still provided to the first family.”
Congress, which has been in and out of session for days to reach some sort of agreement to get the government up-and-running, is exempt. They are paid whether or not they really do their job.
Congressional staff and employees could be subject to furlough.
Nearly all federal employees that are designated as “non-essential” or “non-emergency” are furloughed. They cannot come into work and are on unpaid leave for the shutdown.
During the last shutdown, in 2013, 850,000 federal workers were furloughed each day, according to the Office of Management and Budget.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) would normally furlough 87 percent of its employees. but This shutdown has happened at the start of tax filing season so, the IRS should keep about 43.5 percent of its employees. This would mean more than half of the agency’s 80,600 employees are furloughed.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), would be forced to furlough thousands of workers who monitor the financial markets.
The majority of workers at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are furloughed, with just 37 employees remaining during the shutdown to cover critical IT issues and FCC functions related to national security.
Excepted employees are those who have been designated “essential” for emergency operations. They are required to come into work but are not paid during the shutdown. This group of federal employees includes all in military uniform, and much of the Pentagon’s bureaucracy.
With no pay, funding for security operations, in the U.S. and overseas, continues to maintain protection for deployed troops. Non-essential Pentagon employees are likely to be put on furlough. During the 2013 shutdown, a total of about 400,000 Pentagon civilian employees were put on temporary leave without pay.
Defense Secretary James Mattis said the shutdown would have a “terrible impact” on the military, but that missions would “continue.”
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) will be unaffected by the shutdown.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo said, “We’re going to continue crushing our adversaries whether the government’s open or closed.”
State Department employees also will continue to work, but without pay. Those employees have been designated as necessary for “the safety of human life or the protection of property,” or national security.
Some federal employees are exempt from the shutdown all together. The difference between these employees is that their pay, throughout the year, does not come from annual appropriations.
The majority of employees from the Department of Homeland Security will remain on the job, with approximately 210,000 of the agency’s 241,385 employees exempt from a shutdown. This is according to department protocols.
At least 30,000 DHS employees will be forced to stay home without pay.
DHS employees, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Coast Guard, Secret Service and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are considered “exempt” from the shutdown.
The Justice Department will lose at least 20,000 employees to furlough. Due to the agency’s law enforcement and national security responsibilities, the agency said the majority, which is 80 percent of its employees will continue to perform duties.
Although this writer considers this unimportant, ‘Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign officials’ will continue through the shutdown. Its funding does not come from annual appropriations.
The Senate is considering a new proposal at this moment that would fund the government through Feb. 8. The Democrats could agree to this in return for commitment from Republican leadership to immediately address immigration policy.
I believe the Democrats would love to see the ‘State of the Union’ addressed by President Trump, be delivered during a ‘government shutdown’.
It’s a sick setting.
End the Democrats Obstruction! https://t.co/tzBXilvW1b
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2018
President Trump does have one other option.
The nuclear option (or constitutional option) is a parliamentary procedure that allows the United States Senate to override a rule – specifically the 60-vote rule to close debate – by a simple majority of 51 votes, rather than the two-thirds supermajority normally required to amend the rules.
Will it be used?