Updated Shutdown Guidance as of January 18, 2024
January 14, 2024
As Congress gears up to prevent a partial shutdown at midnight Friday, January 19, 2024, political and other technical reasons make it possible that there may be a short, partial shutdown at 12:01 AM Saturday morning. NFFE hopes that Representatives in the House put the country ahead of politics and pass a bill to keep the government fully open, but this is not always the case.
As of noon on January 18, this is the status of the CRs:
- The Senate will pass a short-term CR(s) today to delay any potential shutdown until March to give appropriators time to pass their bills. The House is the unknown variable. Speaker Johnson wants to pass the short-term CRs but support from his caucus is unknown.
- There are two CRs currently operating. The government is roughly split in half under each CR, and they have different expiration dates. They are as follows:
- The CR expiring at midnight Friday (1/19) contains the following appropriations (i.e., related agencies would experience a shutdown if a law were not passed before the CR expires): Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, the Energy and Water Development, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.
- The second CR expires on 2/2 and contains the following appropriations: Defense, Interior, Homeland Security, Labor HHS, Financial Services (and related independent agencies), Commerce-Justice-State, Legislative Branch.
- The US Forest Service is appropriated under Interior appropriations (as are all land agencies) therefore USFS will NOT shutdown this weekend regardless of whether a new CR is passed. USFS is funded until 2/2. However, USDA HQ and agencies under it would experience a shutdown at midnight Friday.
As a reminder, NFFE fought hard to pass the 2019 Government Employee Fair Treatment Act which ensures that in the event of a funding lapse, all furloughed employees will receive their pay retroactively upon the government reopening. However, while passing this law was a great victory for federal employees, it does little to bring financial relief to workers for the duration of a shutdown.
In addition to preparing personal finances to cover bills and other expenses a shutdown, NFFE recommends the following steps to stay safe at work and stay in touch if forced to into a furlough:
- Report to Work as usual unless your agency informs you in writing that you are officially furloughed. Otherwise, you risk an unexcused absence if you are not furloughed.
- Sign Up for alerts using your personal email.
- Write to Congress telling them NO to a government shutdown.
- Visit the NFFE Shutdown Center, and follow NFFE on Facebook @NFFEunion and Twitter @NFFE_Union for updated info.
- Gather personal phone numbers and non-gov emails to communicate with members.
- Post this memo at your workplace and help spread the word.
- Review your personal finances and prepare for the possibility of delayed paychecks.
- Help NFFE members with access to emergency loans through the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA), on which NFFE serves on the board of directors. For more information, visit the FEEA website at feea.org.