Do members of Congress and the president get paid during a government shutdown? What about other federal workers? VERIFY answers the top 5 questions.
Some federal agencies and programs are funded by annual appropriations bills. The shutdown occurred when Congress failed to approve that funding, which prevented the government from spending the money needed to stay open.
Many VERIFY readers have asked how the government shutdown will affect pay for federal employees, including military personnel, postal workers, as well as members of Congress and their staffs.
WHAT WE FOUND
Each federal agency develops its own shutdown plan and determines what operations can continue until the shutdown ends, The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) explains.
Because agencies had to stop many of their operations, some federal employees were placed on temporary leave, meaning they did not show up for work. Number of employees on leave reached 850,000 during the partial government shutdown in 2013.
But essential services, including many related to public safety, continued to operate during the shutdown, according to CRFB. That is why some government employees are considered “excepted” and continue to work without pay during the shutdown.
Certain other federal employees fall into the “exempt” category, including those whose job functions are not funded by annual appropriations funds, According to the US Office of Personnel Management. They will continue to receive their normal salary.
CRFB said that during previous government shutdowns, border protection, hospital medical care, air traffic control, law enforcement and power grid maintenance were considered essential services. These services will likely be considered essential if the government shuts down again.
QUESTION #1: Will furloughed and “essential” government employees be paid during the shutdown?
Employees who are on leave and are excluded from work will not be paid during the shutdown. But eventually they will get their money back.
Historically, Congress has approved retroactive pay for excluded and fired employees, The Congressional Research Service (CRS) said.
But that refund is not guaranteed until Congress passes and former President Donald Trump signs the federal law in January 2019.
That law is called Fair Treatment of Government Employees Act Require both essential employees who work without pay as well as workers who are not working to be paid after the shutdown ends.
The law requires these employees to be compensated “as soon as practicable,” regardless of the pay date that has been set.
QUESTION #2: Will the President be paid during the government shutdown?
The president is paid during the government shutdown.
Article II, Section I of the Constitution stipulates: “The President shall, at stated times, receive a compensation for his services, which compensation shall not be increased or decreased during the period for which he is elected.”
According to CRS, this section of the Constitution “prohibits any reduction in the president’s salary” while he or she is in office, effectively ensuring that the president will be compensated “regardless of any shutdown.”
QUESTION #3: Will members of Congress be paid during the government shutdown?
Members of Congress receive a salary during the shutdown due to federal law and the U.S. Constitution.
The salaries of members of Congress have been funded by regular appropriations since 1983, CRS said. That means funding for their salaries doesn’t need to be approved every year.
The Constitution also requires members of Congress to be paid during the shutdown, CRS and the National Constitution Center said.
Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution stipulates: “The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be prescribed by law, and paid from the treasury of the United States.”
Additionally, the 27th Amendment prohibits any change in compensation rates for Congress during the current term, the National Constitution Center said.
Some congressional staff may still work during the government shutdown. However, like other federal employees, they will not be paid until the shutdown ends, said David Wessel, a senior fellow in economic research at the Brookings Institution. speak.
QUESTION #4: Will military personnel be paid during the government shutdown?
Military service personnel and laid off Department of Defense (DOD) employees will not be paid during the government shutdown. However, like other federal employees, they will be reimbursed when the period ends.
Active duty military personnel and limited civilian employees of the Department of Defense (DOD) will continue to work during the shutdown, according to decommissioning guidance issued by DOD in August 2023. Other DOD employees will be temporarily laid off.
QUESTION #5: Will USPS employees be paid during the government shutdown?
United States Postal Service (USPS) employees are paid during the government shutdown.
USPS is not affected by the shutdown, U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) said on his website. That means employees will continue to work and get paid.
Although the USPS is a federal agency, the agency that manages the budget for its day-to-day operations is independent of annual appropriations acts, CRS explains.
The agency is Funded through the sale of postage, products and services – not taxes.