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Government Shutdown Begins

Posted: January 22, 2018

At midnight Saturday, January 20, the United States federal government shut down when the deadline for Congress to pass appropriations legislation expired. Although the House of Representatives had previously passed a stopgap bill providing government funding through February 16, the Senate failed to reach a compromise, largely due to disputes over immigration issues.

As a result of the shutdown, all “nonessential” government employees are furloughed while “essential” government employees will work without pay. Pursuant to guidance from the Office of Management and Budget, departments and agencies have formulated plans for their operations in the event of a government shutdown, including which of their employees and operations are essential.

Several agencies will see significant reductions in operations as a result of the furloughs. The National Labor Relations Board and the Security and Exchange Commission, for example, will largely cease operations, with more than 99% and 93% of its employees furloughed, respectively.

The Judiciary has announced that federal courts will remain open at least through February 9, and nonessential court employees will not be furloughed until that time. Should the shutdown last past February 9, however, the chief judge of each district will be responsible for determining which employees and operations are essential.

This post will be updated throughout the shutdown.