Uncertainty Still Looms as Deal is Reached to End Shutdown

Federal workers are returning to their offices after the longest government shutdown in US history. Over 800,000 workers who missed two paychecks as a result of the shutdown are expected to receive back pay this week; unfortunately, the stopgap spending measure only lasts until Feb. 15, setting up another possible shutdown next month.

President Trump announced via a Rose Garden address on Friday that he would be signing a three week continuing resolution to reopen the government. The stopgap spending bill was signed into law Friday evening.

On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney confirmed to CBS’s Face the Nation that providing federal employees with back pay was the administration’s top priority, explaining, “Some of them could get paid early this week. Some of them may be later this week but we hope that by the end of this week all of the back pay will be made up.”

Mulvaney continued to echo the president’s Friday remarks in noting that President Trump “is willing to shut the government down again if he doesn't reach a deal with lawmakers over border spending.”

During his Friday address, President Trump warned that in the absence of a fair deal before the Feb. 15 deadline, the government would shut down again or executive powers would be taken “to address this emergency” at the border.

This has caused some uncertainty among federal workers fearful about maintaining financial and job stability.

Eric Ingram and his wife Andrea Jensen told NPR that they are both federal workers and while Jensen was receiving a paycheck during the shutdown, Ingram was not.

Jensen explained that this had made the couple reconsider both working in the civil service. “It seems like there's more job security in not working for the same agency or having one person in private industry and one person in government,” Jensen said.

Shortly following the end of the shutdown, the Senior Executives Association released a statement calling for an end to government shutdowns as a political tool.

The release explained, “Congress and the Administration now have an obligation to the American people to repair the damage from this unprecedented shutdown of vital government services and ensure that it will never occur again.  Our political leadership must take seriously how we treat our Nation’s dedicated civil servants and engage in a national debate that will restore confidence in our ability to deliver to the American taxpayer the services they richly deserve.”

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) calculated that the government shutdown cost the US economy $3 billion over its 35 day span. The total economic detriment was $11 billion, but some $8 billion of that will be recovered as the government reopens.

The CBO primarily analyzed the economic cost of the 800,000 unpaid federal workers, reduced government spending on goods and services, and lower demand resulting from the shutdown. The CBO did not incorporate possible effects on the business sector relating to an inability to access certain loans, permits, and certifications during the shutdown.

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