Congress Signs Fourth Continuing Resolution to Delay Shutdown
Nearly three days after the government’s funding lapsed, causing the federal government to shutdown over the weekend and through much of Monday, the U.S. Senate signed another short-term continuing resolution – the fourth such resolution since the Fiscal Year began in October 2017 – that funds the government through February 8th.
Included in the continuing resolution is a measure to provide back pay to those employees who were furloughed during the shutdown, as well as to those deemed exempt from the furlough. Notably, according to Federal News Radio, the text of the bill “also ensures federal workers get paid during any future lapses in appropriations in fiscal 2018.”
Groups representing federal employees were generally supportive of the measure. Tony Reardon, President of the National Treasury Employees Union, said, “We commend Congress for protecting the post-shutdown paychecks of the nation’s civil service, which had been threatened by the lapse in appropriations. By adding a provision to the 17-day continuing resolution just approved by the Senate, federal employees will not have to suffer financially for the three-day shutdown. All federal employees, whether they were furloughed or excepted, are counting on a full paycheck, on time, in order to pay the bills.”
But other groups indicated that, while the return from shutdown and subsequent reparative legislation were both welcome, the underlying issue has still not been addressed and remains a vexing concern.
“Congress has one primary job, according to the U.S. Constitution, to manage the power of the purse,” said Bill Valdez, President of the Senior Executives Association. “Congress has only accomplished this job within the rules it set for itself a handful of times in the past 45 years. Meanwhile, elected representatives who claim to desire an ‘effective and efficient’ federal government have done absolutely nothing to provide the budgetary certainty which is an essential predicate for good government. The real accountability problem in Washington lies with our elected leaders, not hard-working civil servants who go to work every day with a desire to serve their fellow Americans and to make America great.”
Posted in From the Hill