With the threat of a federal government shutdown looming on Saturday, Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine are concerned about the effects it will have in Virginia.
“There is no state in the country that gets hit harder than Virginians. If we start a shutdown this weekend, you’ll see federal workers, our members of the armed services who will still have to go to work but won’t get paid,” Warner said in a Twitter video Tuesday. “Ultimately, after the shutdown, they will get reimbursed.”
What’s going on with the government shutdown? Here’s a quick update. pic.twitter.com/JfyCHwIiwD— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) September 26, 2023
Warner said he worries about the government workers who live paycheck to paycheck.
“How are they going to pay their mortgage? How are they going to make their car payment?” Warner questioned.
Virginia has nearly 140,400 civil federal employees, but that figure does not include Virginia residents who work for several agencies, including the FBI, Secret Service, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. They are counted as DC residents, according to the Congressional Research Service.
In a joint statement, Warner and Kaine said: “In Virginia alone, 129,400 active-duty servicemembers will be forced to continue working without pay — a phenomenon that will undermine our national security and threaten the wellbeing of military families. Servicemembers should never be put in this situation. We urge our colleagues in the House of Representatives to put our military and our country before politics. Congress must do its job and fund the government.”
The hundreds of thousands working for the federal government and military do not include federal contractors. NoVA is home to some of the nation’s biggest federal contractors that employ thousands more. A federal government shutdown will not necessarily affect the contractors, but could, depending on how they are funded, according to the law firm Wiley.
Many of the nation’s 2.3 million federal workers though would not be furloughed if Congress fails to come up with a short-term deal to keep the government funded past September 30. An analysis done by Federal News Network finds that while hundreds of thousands would cease to work and would be without pay, about 65 percent of the civilian workforce — more than 1.5 million — would be “exempt” or “excepted” from the shutdown, which means they would keep working, either with or without pay, depending on their status.
Those who are “exempt” have their positions funded through sources that are not part of the annual appropriations bill. They’d work and be paid as usual.
Those who are “excepted” — some 659,000 — do rely on the appropriations, but must stay on the job without pay. Those “excepted” workers could include people who work for the Transportation Security Administration, the U.S. Postal Service, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Feature image of U.S. Capitol, stock.adobe.com
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