No, Nancy Pelosi, Federal Workers Will Not Be Miss a Paycheck Over the Holidays

Caricature by DonkeyHotey

A portion of the federal government closed Saturday. Big deal. I’m not a big fan of these exercises but they have their political uses. When the GOP shutdown the federal government in 2013, the media blamed the GOP for it but we got sequestration (an incredibly dull but effective tool for restraining growth of government) and we picked up 9 Senate and 13 House seats. So I’d call that something of a win. The current showdown is over a border wall and I’m not sure how you translate letting people enter the US illegally, particularly after the visuals of the “migrant caravans,” into electoral success.

Be that as it may, one rather grotesque lie fronted by Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats needs to be dispelled. Even with a shutdown, there are zero federal employees who will not be paid over the holidays.

Federal civilian employees are paid on a biweekly basis. The payroll calendar for the next calendar year is published well in advance of the new year start; for instance, 2020’s calendar is already available.

Yesterday marked the end of a federal pay period. Employees were required to certify and submit their time cards no later that Friday morning. The period covered is the previous two weeks when all agencies were funded. Electronic payments will arrive next Friday (actually late Thursday night). So every federal employee, regardless of agency will get paid next week.

For pay purposes, the next key date is January 4, that is when time cards must be certified in order to receive a check on January 11. If everyone is back at work before January 4, pay on January 11 happens as usual. If the shutdown continues after the 4th but everyone is back by the 9th, time cards will be administratively certified and checks will be issued. Only if the shut down continues past the 9th will anyone miss a scheduled check.

Whether you like the shutdown or not, try to at least argue with a modicum of integrity. No one is going to miss a check unless the shutdown lasts for another two weeks and even then, they will be paid retroactively for the days missed and NOT charged leave time for the days not worked. The only person being screwed here is the taxpayer who is paying for work not done and services not performed.

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