Federal Workers Will Get Holiday Paychecks Even If Government Shuts Down

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

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. (RELATED: How The Political Blame Game Worked In 2013 Shutdown Versus Now)

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.

U.S. President Donald Trump (2nd from right) argues about border security with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (right) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as Vice President Mike Pence sits nearby in the Oval Office on December 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump (2nd from right) argues about border security with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (right) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as Vice President Mike Pence sits nearby in the Oval Office on Dec. 11, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

“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.

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