US government shutdown would impact 800,000 federal employees

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Some may receive payment if funds remain in certain accounts or their positions or work are funded by agencies unaffected by the partial shutdown.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told The Washington Post that Democrats were open to discussions but would not agree to any new funding for a border wall. Ironically, by shutting down the government, he is ensuring that almost 107,000 Customs and Border Protection agents and Transportation Security Administration workers will be forced to defend our borders with the added stress of an immediate loss in pay.

It's official. As of the stroke of midnight Saturday, hundreds of thousands of federal employees are being furloughed during the government shutdown, but for many, it will mean working without pay.

Q. What continues to function?

"The upshot is that a shutdown, even if it lasted for a week or more, would have only a very modest impact on first-quarter GDP growth, subtracting perhaps a few tenths at most", Paul Ashworth, chief US economist of Capital Economics, wrote in a note earlier this year.

Some sites where access is easily controlled, including the Statue of Liberty, may be closed completely.

The Smithsonian in Washington said that in the event of a shutdown, it had enough in reserve to keep its museums open through January 1.

Here's how a shutdown could affect you.

Federal agencies generally can not spend money ahead of appropriations, requiring this suspension of non-essential operations and all pay. The FHA shutdown will affect some people buying houses. For instance, none of the eight shutdowns during Ronald Reagan's presidency in the 1980s lasted more than three days.

The IRS will furlough most of its employees and stop issuing tax refunds. Contractors who work for the federal government may not be so lucky.

The House on Thursday passed a bill in a 217 to 185 vote that would have prevented a partial government shutdown, funding much of the government through February 8, 2019. But South Floridians who don't work for the federal government might not notice.

Investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board would halt, but air traffic controllers would still come to work -- to ensure the safety of the country's commercial aviation. Among those are the departments of Justice, Transportation, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Homeland Security, Interior and Agriculture.

Excepted employees get holiday pay after the shutdown ends. That isn't guaranteed this time, though.

Under a precedent-setting memorandum by Reagan budget chief David Stockman, federal workers are exempted from furloughs if their jobs are national security-related or if they perform essential activities that "protect life and property".

When he was asked if he would be coming back to participate in the talks, the Kentucky Republican said, "as I've said repeatedly, we need Democratic votes and presidential signature". Members of Congress, though, are paid during a shutdown.

Q. How long might this last?

About half the shutdowns last three days or less.

"This time of year is the most remarkable time of year to experience it because the snow against that red rock is just breathtaking", she said in a telephone interview.

Trump's refusal to cave on Friday came despite indications from the White House earlier in the week that the administration had found an alternative way to get the money needed for the wall.

Q. What are the chances of avoiding all this?

For now, it looks like the President is unwilling to back down from his demand for $5 billion for his long-promised border wall.

Earlier Friday, the Senate had voted to advance a House-passed bill that included that amount for the wall. Senate rules require 60 votes for passage, meaning Republicans can't pass a bill without a few Democrats' votes too.

This legislation has already been introduced in both the House and Senate, and it has already passed the Senate.

Don't worry: You've still got mail.

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