Shutdown brewing? Unions, feds concerns ramp up

For the moment, we’re safe. The federal government is currently funded through Thursday, Nov. 21. But, at the close of that day, once again federal employees and their families—and the people and businesses that depend on their work—might suffer yet another shutdown.

The only way out? The usual: Congress must pass at least a continuing resolution, just like it did back in September keeping the government open up to the next deadline.

That last bare-bones bill saved the day—but passing such temporary measures isn’t the best way to run a multi-trillion dollar organization.

“Federal employees, like everyone else, are planning their family year-end celebrations and the thought that a government shutdown could ruin those plans is upsetting,” Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said recently. “Civil servants are not involved in the funding dispute yet they are the ones who suffer if it goes unresolved.”

Other union leaders over these past months have likewise lambasted lawmakers and the White House for past shutdowns and near-shutdowns, along the same lines.

Of course, not only unions but a majority of federal employees themselves—as shown in the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results, released earlier this month—decry the effects of shutdowns, with most feds expressing that they suffered negative effects from last winter’s partial shutdown.

Will Congress and the White House—at the last minute—compromise enough to avoid another wasteful, damaging shutdown? Even passing a CR is tricky this year, as differences over the White House’s conduct and impeachment hearings could render the already polarized atmosphere even more so.

Stay tuned …

Reader comments

Fri, Nov 29, 2019 Giventofly

Given that Eagle and the person who can’t even put their name up feel the president is ok... 1st, the majority of the US and federal employees agree he is corrupt and treasonous. Just watching the testimony of other civil service employees with the DOJ shows how reputable they are, and that they have no reason to attack President. They, our colleagues, are telling the truth about a man that would allow our paychecks to be garnished over a fight for funding that Mexico was supposed to give and didnt. The majority of us have our facts straight about everything this President has done, how he has eroded the security of our nation, and withheld paychecks from his own employees of the US, while insulting all of us on Twitter. Like I said most of us see all this cumulatively as well as the clear infractions of law and his oath to constitution. I take an oath as a federal employee, and our president can’t even meet half the requirements of what is expected of a GS11. He is a joke. This has nothing to do with Democrats. We’re lucky someone is looking out for all of us, as this country is severely vulnerable right now with how trump has eroded our security for his selfish reasons lining his pocket. Good luck to you...please do some reading and education—don’t believe conspiracies of dems and witch hunts. Take them out of this and read, and you will also not want to work for someone that makes us look negative as federal employees

Wed, Nov 20, 2019

Agree with the poster who said that government shutdowns have become one of the worst things about working for the government. I was not affected by the last one, but seeing the people who were, it was a wake-up call to make sure I am fiscally responsible. I am prepared and in good shape financially if there were to be one, but I have had to delay a major home improvement that I have wanted to undertake since the end of September (since there has been no full budget, and only CRs). To have to go through this kind of planning, seemingly every year, has become tiring and frustrating. Shutdowns (or even the constant threat of shutdowns), have made working for the government much more stressful. Especially when you see how divided Congress is and how that can increase the likelihood of shutdowns. Also agree with the comment that it sucks you into having to follow the political mess (even when you don't want to) because the feuding will likely impact the likelihood of a shutdown. Since the first major shutdown in 2013, it has not been fun times to be a government employee (hearing about shutdowns or potential shutdowns 24/7 on the news/media doesn't help).

Wed, Nov 20, 2019

I think that's right. Compromise ain't happening in December. Shutdown. It's on.

Tue, Nov 19, 2019

To the commenter about term limits, the rest of the public will not vote anyone out of Congress for shutdowns. Most could care less. Many love to see federal government workers suffering and humiliated. Although once it starts to affect them personally (benefits, travel, etc), then they will care. But they will never have term limits or payments based on shutdowns. Get real!

Tue, Nov 19, 2019

It seems like they may have a short term compromise, but it seems like a perfect storm brewing for a shutdown with all the impeachment stuff. Neither side is going to be in the mood to compromise. Assuming there is a CR until Dec 20, a potential shutdown would happen at the same time as last year, except it will be the WHOLE federal government. Congress taking off for break around that time, mixed with the impeachment stuff could set up another historically long shutdown. Start you personal fiscal planning now!

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