Action is needed to ensure continued funding for fiscal year (FY) 2017, which is currently set to expire on Friday, April 28. Congress and the President must act in order to prevent a government shutdown due to a lapse in appropriations. Over the two-week congressional recess, congressional leadership and the administration have been in negotiations regarding an appropriation measure that would keep federal agencies operating for the remainder of FY17.
The main issues of contention surround funding for border security and health care. However, at this time, it is not yet known whether some type of omnibus measure will be passed and enacted prior to April 28 or whether a short-term Continuing Resolution might be used to avert a shutdown, or whether there will be a shutdown. Nonetheless, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has instructed agencies to review and update orderly shutdown plans, which is required by OMB policy one week before a possible lapse in appropriations. If needed, agency contingency plans will be posted at https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/information-for-agencies/Agency-Contingency-Plans. Information from the Office of Personnel Management for agencies and employees can also be found at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/furlough-guidance/#url=Shutdown-Furlough.
NTEU worked with Senator Cardin from Maryland on the introduction of legislation, S. 861, the Federal Employee Fair Treatment Act that ensures that all federal employees would be paid in the event of a shutdown—both individuals required to work unpaid and those furloughed. Additionally, it would allow federal employees remaining on the job to take scheduled annual leave and sick leave as needed. The bill has 16 cosponsors and NTEU strongly supports this legislation. Congressman Beyer from Virginia has confirmed that he will introduce the House companion bill next week.
Our country needs for our government to remain open for business, and for federal employees to remain on the job and notably, to be properly paid on time.
I will keep you updated on further developments.